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Unexpected Highlights of the Inaugural Art Southampton - RowlandsModernArt.com : RowlandsModernArt.com
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Unexpected Highlights of the Inaugural Art Southampton

| August 6, 2012 | Comments

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Unexpected Highlights of the Inaugural Art Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON, New York — Why fight it? Galleries operating a booth at a summer art fair are working in their own best interests when they choose work that travels well, hangs quickly, and attracts visitors’ attention without begging for it. This is especially true for a compact fair like the brand-new Art Southampton, where 80 percent of the work on display looks as though it was made in 1970 or earlier, falling easily into the categories of painting, sculpture, and photography. Zippy genre crossovers are hard to find in Southampton this weekend, and clunky pieces of video art or Neo-Pop were kept to a minimum.

By no means does this make for a boring fair — at least for our tastes. For instance, Robert Klein Gallery’s display of photography by Irving Penn is an undisputed delight. The vintage Penn portraits of Jean Patchett and Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, recently acquired from the estate of his printer, Louis J. Gartner Jr, are both instantly recognizable and instantly charming.

One booth over, East Hampton’s Gallery Valentine showed vibrantly colored, unusually biomorphic sculptures in bronze by the recently departed John Chamberlain. The gallery was also sponsoring screenings of a documentary over the weekend, titled “HEAARTBEAT,” which was produced by the late artist’s precocious step-daughter, Alexandra Fairweather, who began filming Chamberlain in his studio and at exhibitions eight years ago, when she just 14.

Another attempt to return to the well of Abstract Expressionism is seen at KM Fine Arts, which is showing some excellent paintings by Hans Hoffman in its booth. While preserving the great artist’s freewheeling brush style, the works in this particular series break from yellows and blues, adopting a floral, almost neon color scheme. Without taking an immense risk, the gallery has managed to show admirers of Hoffman a side of the artist that they might not have otherwise seen.

 

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Category: Art News