25 significant works in the Parrish's Museum's collection
Now that it's moved into expansive new quarters, the Parrish Art Museum, for the first time in its more than 100-year history, is able to showcase choice selections from its 2,600-work permanent collection year-round. The litany of work by big-name American artists, with a focus on those tied to Long Island's East End-from the genteel, sun-dappled vignettes of William Merritt Chase to a spare, electric light installation by Dan Flavin-is impressive. Here are some top picks from the collection, including works on immediate display in the new museum as well as other treasures that may rotate on view over time. -- Compiled by Deidre Greben
1. "The Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Convention,
2. "At Sands Point X16," 1985-1986, Jennifer Bartlett - With this work inviting comparison to Monet, Bartlett explores the elements -- the air, earth and water -- of her environment, including both figurative and abstract imagery. Her signature technique of painting vigorous repeated strokes on gridded squares in sumptuous allover compositions also nods to the Impressionist's canvases.
3. "Hither Hills," 1991-1995
4. "Dempsey Through the Ropes," 1924, George Wesley Bellows
Similar to many of his Ashcan School compatriots, Bellows worked as a newspaper illustrator. His oil rendition of the much-anticipated boxing match between Jack Dempsey and the Argentinian fighter Luis Angel Firpo is arguably the greatest American sport painting. This lithograph was based on the drawing Bellows made for the New York Evening Journal.
5. Untitled (Portrait of Grace Borgenicht), 1921 Mary Abbott
Mary Abbott’s pencil likeness of pioneering New York art dealer Grace Borgenicht is a departure from the colorful, intuitive abstractions for which she is recognized, but a fitting subject for one of the few female artists associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. A romance with Willem de Kooning in 1949 brought Abbott to the heart of the New York avant-garde--fraternizing both in downtown Manhattan and on Long Island’s East End--and prompted her abandonment of figurative subject matter.
6. "The Bayberry Bush," c. 1895
7. "Alex/Reduction Block," 1993
8. "Untitled XXXVIII," 1983 Willem de Kooning
De Kooning's paintings typify the dynamic gestural style of the Abstract Expressionists yet hold onto traditional subjects such as women and landscape. The Dutch-born artist painted this canvas late in life. Increasingly impaired by Alzheimer's disease, his paintings became simpler, with bands of limited color evoking constantly changing, bulging and contracting, spaces.
9. "the nominal three (to William of Ockham)," 1963 Dan Flavin
As a guard at the American Museum of Natural History in 1961, Flavin started to make sketches for sculptures incorporating fluorescent light tubes. In this work dedicated to a 14th-century English philosopher, the Minimalist divorces light from its traditional divine context to make it "dumb-anonymous and inglorious."
10. "Light Before Heat," 1984
11. "Church at Old Lyme," 1906
12. "Florida Sunset with Palm Trees," c.1895-1904
13. "Narrow Lane #3," 2001, Mary Heilmann
Though it may look like an easy-does-it, jewel-colored, geometric painting, Heilmann's surface is inflected with nuance and imbued with references. Her paintings are distilled meditations. The pure joy and yearning emanating from the canvas no doubt derives from the clear view of farmed land from her East End studio windows.
14. "Brushstrokes," 1967
15. "Thor Loading in Richard's Bay," 1998
16. "Portrait of Mrs. Manice," 1833
17. "Untitled," c. late 1970s Louise Nevelson
Works like this untitled piece by the Ukranian-born artist complicated gender stereotypes with its boldness yet expresses Nevelson's deepest emotions about her life as a woman artist and immigrant. Nevelson used black paint to obscure the original context of the wood debris, thereby endowing the arrangement with a new narrative life.
18. "Unsuccessful Tow," 1961-68
19. "Nick in Orient (Nick Mauss)," 2004
20. "Jane and Elizabeth," 1967
21. "Max, Sam and Edo," 2011
22. "White Poppies with Flocked Centers," 2002, Donald Sultan
Sultan's poppies are both subtle and monumental, an abstracted, monochromatic rendering made with enamel, tar, and spackle on linoleum floor tiles. As unorthodox as they are dazzling, his vibrant flower canvases have reinvigorated the age-old genre subject of still life.
23. "Horseshoe Falls, Niagara," c. 1894
24. “Untitled,” 1956, Esteban Vicente
For five decades the Spanish ex-patriot was an integral member of the New York School, exploring various forms of evenly lit color, derived from the light coming through clerestory windows in his Bridgehampton barn studio. Collage was as important to Vicente as his painting. Among the bits of paper applied here are product labels -- daring indeed pre-Warhol.
25. "Trees at Mecox," 1958