7 New Art Galleries In The Hamptons

August 24, 2020

The Hamptons have been historically important for the art community for decades, perhaps most notably since the 20th century artists started setting up studios and homes across the Long Island area - it was a haven for Abstract Expressionists during and after World War II for instance, with the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center being there, in Springs.

Today, the Hamptons continue to provide a home to artists such as Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Lynda Benglis, Eric Fischl and April Gornik, to name a few. Institutions like the Parrish Art Museum and the Dia Bridgehampton, as well as art galleries such as Eric Firestone Gallery, have been operating on the island for decades, noting a spike in interest and foot traffic every summer when New York dealers and collectors would flock there to escape the busy, and hot, city streets.

But as with practically everything else, the Covid-19 pandemic is changing our usual ways, and the Hamptons art scene is no exception. As one of the worst-hit places on Earth, New York has had to shut down almost completely, decentralizing itself as an art hub for the time being and forcing many galleries across the East River and over to the Hamptons, some of the reasons being: less health risks, cheaper rents and, as mentioned, an already established network of art professionals. By turning the tables and bringing artists directly to their clients, art galleries are now forced to seek sales a little differently, meaning that their connection to the Hamptons community could very well expand beyond the usual summer months.

Most of them permanent (at least for a year to come), here are the new art galleries-residents of Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk. Will they stay in the Hamptons and create a mini-market out of it even once New York is fully reopened? It remains to be seen.

Featured image: Exterior view of South Etna Montauk, featuring hand-painted sign by Julian Schnabel. Courtesy the artist and South Etna Montauk.

Hauser & Wirth

A two-story, 5,000-square-foot Hauser & Wirth is overlooking Southampton’s Main Street at number 9. It will serve as the gallery’s new exhibition and private viewing space, in “proximity to clients and collectors who live in the Hamptons beach communities, as well as gallery artists who maintain studios in the area.” The gallery reportedly signed a one-year lease for the space. One of the art world’s conglomerates, Hauser & Wirth already have spaces in Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Somerset, St. Moritz, Zurich, and Gstaad.

Hauser & Wirth Southampton is currently works by the likes of Ed Clark, George Condo, Philip Guston, Mary Heilmann, Rashid Johnson, and Jack Whitten, as well as Louise Bourgeois, whose outdoor Eye Benches II sculptures are installed behind the gallery.

Featured image: Hauser & Wirth, 9 Main St, Southampton, NY. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Michael Werner

A 3-minute walk from the aforementioned Lisson Gallery, at 50 Newton Lane in East Hampton there is the local branch of Michael Werner, the established art gallery with locations in New York, London, and Trebbin.

Their inaugural Hamptons exhibition featured major works by Sigmar Polke and Francis Picabia, with additional works by those who have drawn inspiration from both artists.

Currently on view is another dual presentation, this time of art by A.R. Penck’s bronzes and Florian Krewer’s paintings.

Featured image: A.R. Penck - Westdeutsche Wirtschaft (West-German Economy), 1990. Patinated bronze, 34 1/4 x 33 3/4 x 20 1/2 inches, 87 x 86 x 52 cm. Courtesy the artist and Michael Werner.

Van de Weghe

Just down the street, at 66 Newton Lane in East Hampton, Van de Weghe just opened its new space, the second to their Madison Avenue post. Established in 1999, they are a secondary market gallery specializing in work by Modern, post-war and contemporary European and American artists.

Their inaugural Hamptons exhibition was nothing short of spectacular: Jean-Michel Basquiat’s works on paper that focused on the figure as subject. Highlights of the show included the 1981 Untitled (Figure Holding Up Fish), as well as two works from 1982, the artist’s most fruitful year.

Featured image: Van de Weghe Fine Art © Dan Bradica.

Skarstedt

At the very same address, with Sotheby’s to the left and ross+kramer gallery to the right, is Skarstedt, who have signed a three-year lease just like the aforementioned Van de Weghe.

In the 1,500-square-foot space, which opened on June 17, 2020, Skarstedt is hosting the Summer Show, featuring works by gallery artists such as KAWS, Barbara Kruger, George Condo (whose studio is also in East Hampton), Richard Prince, David Salle, Willem de Kooning, and Eric Fischl, among others. The exhibition physically mirrors the gallery’s Art Basel presentation in the online viewing room earlier this year.

Featured image: David Salle - Frost Free, 2018. Oil and acrylic on linen, 74 x 104 inches, 188 x 264.1 cm. Courtesy the artist and Skarstedt.

South Etna Montauk

On the easternmost tip of Long Island, at 6 South Etna Avenue in Montauk, there is a brand new art space for a change - but its owners are more than experienced in the world of art. South Etna Montauk is the brainchild of the power couple consisting of Amalia Dayan, who co-runs Luxembourg & Dayan, and her husband Adam Lindemann, who operates Venus Over Manhattan. Conceived as a separate entity from their respective galleries, it is located in a Tudor cottage.

Inaugurating South Etna Montauk on July 17 was Painting is Painting’s Favorite Food: Art History as Muse, an exhibition curated by Alison Gingeras. You can read more on the show here.

Featured image: Exterior view of South Etna Montauk, featuring hand-painted sign by Julian Schnabel. Courtesy the artist and South Etna Montauk.

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