Monday, August 13, 2012

paradigm shift

Amagansett: suddenly the coolest place in the world

Mary Heilmann, Kurt Gumaer, Seating Arrangements

ILLE Arts Seating Arrangements
curated by Mary Heilmann

Don Christensen, Songster, 2012, acrylic on wood table

It's nice to be surprised -- especially when it seems like there's no possible way to get it on in a way you haven't already considered a thousand times. Witness the transformation of sleepy little Amagansett, now the reigning champion in what is -- at least for this moment -- the East End's own Bushwick. It's fun and fresh and worth the long lines of beach traffic to get there.

Tucked inside a brief driveway off Main Street, Sara De Luca's new venture, ILLE Arts, offers crazy fun and varying degrees of comfort from this summer's break-out curator, Mary Heilmann. Selections here include Daniel Wiener, Don Christensen, Diane Blell and Kurt Gumaer as well as Heilmann's own hybrid seating units and succulent, crispy clear paintings.

Below, Daniel Wiener's weird and wonderfully incongruous painting/sculptures morph in between dimensions, Mandelbrot sets, and those trippy oil spills we used to watch before Uriah Heep concerts.  

Daniel Weiner, Plumbline of Disaster, 2010, Apoxie-Sculpt

Don Christensen's table paintings are a revelation -- so simple and perfect, and offering such satisfying solutions to the conundrum of 2 vs. 3 dimensions.

Don Christensen, Chicago Hoops, 2008, painted wood, furniture, hoops, wire

Kurt Gumaer, Webby Single bench, 2012, Pex tubing and painted plywood

Dan Colen at Karma

Dan Colen, 2012


And then! On to the newest of the new, book store and gallery, Karma, reincarnated from their west village location at Downing Street. Here, they are also tucked away, just a few steps from Main Street in a space that is big, flexible, and filled with cool.

And to cool off even more, check out Dan Colen both in Karma's gallery space and the adjacent lawn (above), dotted with chunky, sittable M&Ms -- hulking rocks painted in rich, candy-coated color.

More candy inside...

Dan Colen, Dead Flowers, 2012

Not unlike the confetti paintings he initiated after the death of his friend Dash Snow, here Colen provokes a literal mash-up -- in this case of mashed fresh flowers that are ground into the canvas. The results, a sort of visual epiphany that mingles aroma and detritus, violence and beauty, sweetness and despair. Colen is a balladeer -- given to poetics -- and, as such, well suited to the bookish Karma, one of those one-of-a-kind places for one-of-a-kind books and art, now in Amagansett. 

Dan Colen at Karma, 2012
Colen picks through the disenfranchised -- sifting through cultural throwaways and things in which any inherent significance has been eroded or disconnected from its origins -- and reconstitutes a visual language. His works can be transformative, elegiac -- even somber. (No somberness here!) 

His readymades possess the sort of urban poetry where meanings shift from ambivalence to certainty and from the poignant to the precarious. Above, his torqued park bench is an ode to imbalance -- urban, and a little madcap.

Not your typical bookstore

Watch for Adam McEwen's book signing at Karma on Sunday, August 19, 2 - 5pm 

Scott Bluedorn's 
Neoteric Fine Art
And then there's Neoteric Fine Art, now exhibiting Design + Function which includes works by the owner and curator Scott Bluedorn, surfboards by Stephen Jumper, as well as skate decks, textiles, jewelry and other outside the gateway buyables:

Neoteric Fine Art, Design + Function

Bluedorn is a surfer-traveler-artist-entrepeneur-jack-of-all-trades sort of guy whose gallery occupies a storefront on the highest order -- a vintage building situated directly on Main Street in Amagansett.

Victor-John Villaneuva, 2012, beads, resin
Below, Bluedorn addresses a chair with fisherman's nets and ropes -- all found among the marinas, streets, and beaches here. 

Scott Bluedorn, 2012

In the sister space across the hall, Bluedorn and co-curator Mark Wilson (check out Wilson's and partner Claudja Bicalho's awesome variety store, Lazypoint, just up the street) have assembled works that are cheeky, inventive and super seductive. 

Mark Wilson, Bear Medallion, 2012, digital print on canvas

Wilson works in a range of materials and idioms that bounce from the giant bear above, (a boy scout badge decal) to the sumptuous 17th century Persian carpet inspired oil paintings (below) he hangs on the wall or lays directly on the floor like actual rugs.

Mark Wilson, Persian Painted Rug, 2012, oil on canvas

Other works are equally sympatico, darting from artist-designed tables and chairs to driftwood configurations and oddly useful objet of all manner.

Ryan Bollman, Buoy, 2011, ceramic

Amagansett Sunday afternoon in a while.

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