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New art exhibitions open in Riverhead

"Mountain Swing" Topos, by Bastienne Schmidt; drawing on

"Mountain Swing" Topos, by Bastienne Schmidt; drawing on paper, polymer paint, tracing paper Credit: Bastienne Schmidt

Headed out and about on the East End this weekend?

If so, make a trip to art sites, a contemporary art gallery in Riverhead that encourages artists to be expressive. And you’ll be just in time to catch two solo exhibitions –  “Topos,” featuring Bastienne Schmidt, and “Constructs,” featuring Craig Kane – that open on Saturday.

In “Topos,” fine art photographer and multimedia artist Bastienne Schmidt displays paintings inspired by aerial views of the Earth’s surface and infrastructure. The solo exhibition features more than 15 paintings layered with newspaper, fabrics, tracing paper, dental floss, ink, string and drip paint to create a topographical understanding of place.

“The layers give you a sense of complexity and then you start seeing patterns in them,” gallery owner Glynis Berry says. “In one piece, you get a sense of the subway system.”

Schmidt’s work has garnered numerous awards and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, the International Center of Photography, The Brooklyn Museum, among others.

Overall, Berry describes Schmidt’s pieces in this show as “powerful paintings.” 

“They have the abstraction of a Pollock, but they have references that you as a viewer can pull out,” Berry says. “There’s a kind of wonderful mystery to the pieces.”

In “Constructs,” Craig Kane – a sculptor who works in miniature compositions – creates slyly placed miniature site installations that combine wit and thought-provoking jabs at life.

For instance, a tiny collage called “At Last” is composed of words that say “Made in the USA,” while another piece is a tiny pile of threads on a shelf, which Kane refers to as the U.S. flag, deconstructed. He also cut out the word “NO” on cardboard and attached it horizontally on the wall to create a shadow of the word.

“Sometimes what you see at first is a shadow rather than a physical object, so he plays with the inmateriality of things,” Berry says. “Very often the titles help inform you of the understanding of what you’re seeing.”

Kane has previously shown work at art sites as well as galleries in San Diego, Beijing and Brooklyn.

So why check out the exhibit? “These are two very interesting contemporary artists,” Berry says. “They both have unique visions and they’re totally dedicated to their work."

WHEN / WHERE Reception 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, at art sites, 651 W. Main St., Riverhead. Show continues Thursday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., through June 26. 


INFO 631-591-2401 or

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