Michelle Stuart (American, born 1933), Passage Bream Bay, 1999. Installation View, Affinities for Abstraction: Women Artists on Eastern Long Island, 1950­–2020. Photo: Jenny Gorman; Michelle Stuart portrait. Photo: Bill Milne.

WATER MILL, 6/8/2021—The Parrish Art Museum presents an intimate conversation between longtime friends Alicia G. Longwell, Ph.D., the Museum’s Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, and artist Michelle Stuart, who will discuss her approach to nature and abstraction and how that process has evolved throughout her career. Stuart is a participating artist in Affinities for Abstraction: Women Artists on Eastern Long Island, 1950-2020, an exhibition with works by a multigenerational roster of 42 artists who expanded the language of abstraction–and called the Hamptons home for a week, a season, or a lifetime. The program is both in-person in the Museum’s Lichtenstein Theater and live-stream.  Socially distanced seating in the theater is limited and masks are required throughout the program.

Since the 1960s, Stuart has created work that stems from her lifelong interest in the natural world and the universe. Her multi-faceted body of work includes large-scale earth works, complex multi-media installations, earth drawings, encaustic paintings, sculptural objects, drawings, and prints. The photographic image—an ancillary part of her work in the past—is currently the primary medium. Stuart has also written and published artist’s books, referencing a range of influences, from history, astronomy, botany and her extensive travels to ancient archaeological sites.

Affinities for Abstraction, organized by Longwell, presents the lesser-known stories of artists who expanded and exploited the language of abstraction through novel and often critical contributions. In the early male-dominated years of Abstract Expressionism, women were often relegated to an ancillary role that minimized their stories and careers. Through 58 works by 42 women, Affinities for Abstraction places these artists firmly back into the narrative, demonstrating how they staked out their own unique territory.The exhibition traverses time periods and generations to reveal subtle and at times surprising connections between highly acclaimed early innovators and subsequent generations of artists, including 19 contemporary artists working today.  


Advance ticket purchase with pre-event registration is required. All tickets are sold pre-event and online only. No sales at the door. All sales are final, non-transferable, and non-refundable.

Restrooms will be open during the event. Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available. The Parrish is being regularly disinfected for the safety of our staff and visitors.


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

Additional support provided by The Corcoran Group and Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder. 

Affinities for Abstraction: Women Artists on Eastern Long Island, 1950-2020 is made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of The James and Charlotte Park Brooks Fund, Stephen Meringoff, The Deborah Buck Foundation, Ellen and Howard Katz, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox, Garrett and Mary Moran, Leslie Rose Close, Herman Goldman Foundation, and Fred Schmeltzer. Public Support provided by Suffolk County.


Parrish Art Museum

Inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.


Parrish Art Museum construction photographs © Jeff Heatley.


AAQ / Resource

space(s) Landscape Architecture