The new exhibition “Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things”

features nearly 70 works from 1982 to the present  


Mel Kendrick with Sculpture No. 3, 1991. Poplar, oil, lamp black, pipe. 117 x 48 x 54; and Sculpture No. 4, 1991.

Poplar, oil, lamp black, pipe.102 x 62 x 51.  Photo: Jenny Gorman


WATER MILL, 11/17/2022—Artist Mel Kendrick, whose work is featured in a new, comprehensive exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum, will discuss his practice and process with art critic and catalogue contributor Nancy Princenthal on Friday, December 2, 2022, at 6pm. Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things—the first major survey of Kendrick’s (American, b. 1949) work highlighting his four-decade career—explores how the artist, one of America’s renowned contemporary sculptors, pushes the limits of materials including wood, rubber, and concrete to create sculpture that lays bare the process by which it was made. The talk in the Lichtenstein Theater will be introduced by Corinne Erni, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects.

Admission to this program and the exhibition galleries is free for Museum members, and for residents and employees of the Tuckahoe and Southampton school districts; members of the Shinnecock Nation; veterans/active duty military and their families; college students with ID; SNAP recipients; and anyone 18 & under. Nonmember admission is $16 for adults and $12 for seniors.


“Mel Kendrick has reinvented, renewed, and rethought what sculpture can be many times over. His relentless quest into physicality and three-dimensionality, constantly orchestrating and rearranging, is not dissimilar to that of a choreographer–the spectator will never cease to be mesmerized and drawn into the performance,’” said Erni. “The Parrish is delighted and honored to present this astonishing body of work and to celebrate his impressive career.”


In her catalogue essay, Princenthal wrote, “His approach has been to create works that undermine and destabilize the unique characteristics of sculpture, even as he has seemingly embraced the notion of the autonomous object, to intellectually challenge viewers and stimulate visual and mental gymnastics that deconstruct and reconstruct his forms and processes.”


On view through February 19, 2023, Seeing Things in Things features nearly 70 major works including new sculptures and wall pieces, a grouping of small 3-dimensional “sketches,” works on paper, and photographs from the early 1980s to the present. Through his creative inquiry, Kendrick invites viewers to think about the relationships between representation and abstraction, sculpture and the body, organic and synthetic, and natural and made by hand. At his talk, Kendrick will discuss these and aspects of his unique approach to artmaking—one that is fueled by a tireless A richly illustrated 192-page book, co-published with and distributed by Rizzoli Electa, accompanies the exhibition and in on sale in the Museum Shop.                        

Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things was organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts and curated by Allison Kemmerer, The Mary Stripp and R. Crosby Kemper Director. The presentation at the Parrish Art Museum is organized by Corinne Erni, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects, with additional support from Kaitlin Halloran, Curatorial Assistant and Publications Coordinator and Brianna L. Hernández, Curatorial Fellow.


Mel Kendrick

Mel Kendrick’s sculptures have drawn widespread critical acclaim throughout his career. He is a three-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and received the both the Francis J. Greenburger Award and the American Academy of Arts & Letters’s Academy Award. Kendrick’s work is represented in the collections of leading museums across the U.S., including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; The Art Institute of Chicago; Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC; Parrish Art Museum; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA; Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. International venues include Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Centro Cultural Arte Contemporano, Mexico City; and Daimler Kunst Sammlung, Berlin. 


Nancy Princenthal

Nancy Princenthal is a Brooklyn-based writer whose biography Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames & Hudson, 2015) received the 2016 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. Princenpthal’s most recent book is Unspeakable Acts: Women, Art, and Sexual Violence in the 1970s (Thames & Hudson, 2019); and she is the author of the monograph Hannah Wilke (Prestel, 2010). A former Senior Editor and current Contributing Editor of Art in America, she has also written for the New York Times, Bomb, Hyperallergic, Apollo, the Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. Her writing has appeared in monographs and exhibition catalogues for myriad artists, including Willie Cole, Lesley Dill, Ann Hamilton, Alfredo Jaar and Gary Simmons. A longtime faculty member of the MFA Art Writing program at the School of Visual Arts, and recently a visiting lecturer at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, she has taught and lectured widely 



The presentation of Mel Kendrick: Seeing Things in Things at the Parrish Art Museum is made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of Dorothy Lichtenstein, Imperfect Family Foundation; William R. Peelle, Jr.; Fiona and Eric Rudin; Jack Shear; The Drawing Room, East Hampton; The Evelyn Toll Family Foundation; Agnes Gund; Linda Hackett, Melinda Hackett: CAL Foundation; David Nolan Gallery, New York; Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder; Susan Dunlevy; Hugh J. Freund and Sandra Wijnberg; Francis J. Greenburger; Elliott and Mimi Meisel; John L. Thomson; Raymond J. Learsy; and Carol LeWitt.

The Parrish Art Museum’s programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and by the property taxpayers from the Southampton School District and the Tuckahoe Common School District.

The exhibition at the Addison and the publication have been generously supported by the Michael and Fiona Scharf Publications Fund, the Sidney R. Knafel Exhibition Fund, Toby D. Lewis, Katherine D. & Stephen C. Sherrill ’71, P’05, ’07, ’10, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Frank Williams and Keris Salmon, the Alice M. & Thomas J. Tisch Foundation, Raymond Learsy, The Fifth Floor Foundation, Dr. & Mrs. John Bassett, Gail Monaghan, Francis J. Greenburger, Wheelock Whitney III, and Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. K. Adler.

Friday Nights are made possible, in part, by Presenting Sponsor, Bank of America.

Additional support provided by Weill Cornell Medicine – Southampton and The Corcoran Group


The Parrish Art Museum strives to illuminate the creative process, casting light on how art transforms our experience and understanding of the world in which we live. The Museum fosters connections between individuals, art, and artists through the care and interpretation of the collection, as well as the presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, and programs. A center for cultural engagement with a focus on the East End of Long Island, the Parrish is a source of inspiration and a destination for the region, the nation, and the world.



AAQ / Resource: Westhampton Architectural Glass