Described by Monica Ramirez-Montagut as a "homecoming" for artists who have worked with the Parrish Art Museum over the years, the museum's 125th anniversary celebration has officially begun, with the first iteration of its "Artists Choose Parrish" series of exhibitions now on its walls.
The executive director of the Parrish made the remark in February at a Manhattan gathering showcasing the year's exhibitions and special events in honor of the milestone.
There will be three parts in total to the series, which will finish up early next year with 41 artists participating in all. As of this weekend, a section of part one is on view in Water Mill with the other section opening on April 30.
The point of the series is to have living artists with ties to the area choose objects from the permanent collection to react to and address in a visual dialogue. The artists whose installations are ready for viewing this week are Nanette Carter, Robert Gober, Mary Heilmann, Sam Moyer, Ugo Rondinone, Cindy Sherman, Leslee Stradford, Michelle Stuart, and Pamela Council.
Opening next weekend will be the efforts of Tony Bechara, Ross Bleckner, Jeremy Dennis, Eric Fischl, Claude Lawrence, Robert Longo, Eddie Martinez, Enoc Perez, Hank Willis Thomas, Nina Yankowitz, and Joe Zucker.
One of the most personal connections in this series is demonstrated by Ms. Moyer, who chose works by Lynda Benglis to react to in an installation. According to remarks made in February by Corinne Erni, the curator of the series and the deputy director of curatorial affairs at the Parrish, Ms. Moyer was Ms. Benglis's assistant and introduced her to the East End. As a result, Ms. Moyer and her husband, Mr. Martinez, ended up buying a house in Orient. A papier colle, a monoprint, and a mixed-medium sculpture by Ms. Benglis are displayed with Ms. Moyer's work in black slate, marble, and plaster-coated canvas.
Ms. Carter culled works from the mid-20th century up to the present with a foundation in abstraction. Her installation has work by Romare Bearden, Perle Fine, Ms. Heilmann, Theo Hios, Betty Parsons, Esteban Vicente, and Frank Wimberley along with her own abstract collage on Mylar "Cantilevered #53 (Teetering)," from 2020.
Mr. Gober and Ms. Sherman also mine the mid-20th century, an era long associated with the South Fork, in choosing their works. He chose a book of Frank O'Hara's poems to reflect on and converse with, and she chose portraits of women from the 1950s, comparing them with two of her "Untitled Film Stills" from the late 1970s, which examine feminine archetypes.
Ms. Stuart has chosen historical paintings from the late-19th century that evoke a feeling she calls "alone with the universe." She shows paintings by Albert Pinkham Ryder, Ralph Albert Blakelock, and William Merritt Chase with two works from her "Women's Series." The juxtaposition is a kind of coming home for the contemporary artist, who first encountered works by these three at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art when she was a child.
The elements from her own oeuvre she chose to include are recent groupings of photographs that build on a narrative. According to the museum, "Emaline Had Childhood Incidents," from 2019, "addresses how women have been historically misunderstood," and "Gothic Tale: Adeline," from 2020, "points to the disassociation felt by young people today."
Coming up in the installation opening next weekend, Mr. Longo will go head to head with Frank Stella's "Illustrations after El Lissitzky's Had Gadya: Back Cover," from 1982-1984. He chose the piece, which reminds him of a "collision and explosion through shapes and color," to pair with his 2021 charcoal drawing "Untitled (Nascar Crash, Daytona)."
Mounted on red burlap, Mr. Zucker's grouping takes a nostalgic look back at the Parrish's former home in Southampton Village and an exhibition held there in 1992 titled "A Museum Looks at Itself," which showcased elements of its permanent collection. His works "Sailboat Box & Lid," from 2005, and "Regatta 8," from 2016, develop a water theme that continues with Harunobu Suzuki's Japanese woodblock print "Cutting the Lotus," from about 1760; James Abbott McNeill Whistler's "Thames Warehouse, Hobbs Wharf," from 1859; J. Turner's "Untitled (River scene, couples seated and strolling)," from 1889; Betty Parsons's untitled work from 1927; John Button's "SS Cristoforo Colombo," from 1961, and Peter Campus's "Passage at Bellport Harbor," from 2010.
One of the most ambitious takeovers in this section will be Ms. Yankowitz's examination of how people experience art. An entire gallery will be installed with art by Tara Donovan, Rashid Johnson, Louisa Chase, Ms. Heilmann, Vija Celmins, Jackie Black, and Chuck Close, but also platforms, reclining chairs, and other means to alter the experience of viewing art. Ms. Yankowitz's series of sculpted and painted body parts jutting from the wall make their own allusions to the disconnected and the uncanny.
The other pairings and groupings in this first part offer similar promise and adventures. A talk by Ms. Carter, Mr. Fischl, Ms. Yankowitz, and Ms. Council moderated by Ms. Erni will take place on April 29 at 7 p.m. The other parts of the series will open on Aug. 20 and Oct. 29.