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'By the Sea,' Then and Now

Tue, 01/31/2023 - 14:28
Paintings by Gregory Coates, Nanette Carter, Frank Wimberley, and Alvin Loving, originally shown in a 1999 exhibition, will be paired with their more recent artwork at The Church in Sag Harbor.

In February 1999, the exhibition "A Place by the Sea," which celebrated the work and friendship of four African-American artists with strong ties to Sag Harbor, opened at the Rathbone Gallery of Russell Sage College in Albany. 

Featuring the work of Nanette Carter, Gregory Coates, Al Loving, and Frank Wimberley, the show traveled to Christine Nienaber Contemporary Art in New York City and the Arlene Bujese Gallery in East Hampton, where it opened on Memorial Day weekend.

"Return to a Place by the Sea," which will explore the work those artists were making in the 1990s, updated with more recent paintings, works on paper, and sculpture, will be at The Church in Sag Harbor from Sunday through May 27. The exhibition has been organized by April Gornik, The Church's co-founder, and Sara Cochran, its chief curator.

The four artists, who were committed to abstract painting, also shared an appreciation for jazz music's vitality and its basis in spontaneity and experimentation. Their lives and work were intertwined by their connections with the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Cinque Gallery in New York, where they exhibited their work, and the Eastville/SANS community, where they have summer homes.

One goal of the exhibition, according to the curators, is to deepen the understanding of these four influential artists, who have only begun to receive international acclaim. The show, which also outlines a more inclusive history of abstract painting in New York in the late 20th century, transcends the historical standards of race and gender.

The exhibition will feature public programs focusing on each artist and new video interviews with Ms. Carter, Mr. Coates, and Mr. Wimberley. An opening reception will be held on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.

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