THE PARRISH ART MUSEUM REOPENS GALLERIES
WITH THREE NEW EXHIBITIONS:
SOUTHAMPTON SUITE: LUCIEN SMITH’S FIRST MUSEUM EXHIBITION,
JACKIE BLACK’S IMAGES OF DEATH ROW INMATES’ LAST MEALS,
AND PAINTINGS AND POETRY BY FAIRFIELD PORTER
AND HIS CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
The exhibitions are on view August 7, 2020, through January 31, 2021
The Parrish Art Museum will reopen its galleries on August 7 for the first time since mid-March with three new exhibitions drawn primarily from its permanent collection. They include the first institutional exhibition for Montauk-based artist Lucien Smith (American, b. 1989) comprising 10 large-scale paintings from his 2013 Southampton Suite; Last Meal (Series), 2001–2003, 24 photographs by long-time Shelter Island-based artist Jackie Black (American, b. 1958) who restaged the last meals requested by death row inmates; and HOUSEBOUND: Fairfield Porter and his Circle of Poets and Painters, featuring work by Porter, poet Anne Channing Porter, and the artists and poets who visited them during the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s in Southampton. The Museum galleries are open Friday through Monday in 90-minute increments beginning at 11am for visitors who purchase tickets online, in advance. Visitors are encouraged to visit parrishart.org for the most current information, as opening dates and times are subject to change.
“We are all looking forward to our reopening on August 7 and welcoming visitors once again to enjoy the Parrish galleries,” said Alicia G. Longwell, Ph.D., Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education. “The three special exhibitions will feature new perspectives on Parrish collection artists Fairfield Porter, Jackie Black, and Lucien Smith.”
LUCIEN SMITH: SOUTHAMPTON SUITE
Abstract painter Lucien Smith is best known for his process-based works that employ both accidental and improvisational marks to create loose, all-over compositions.Organized by Alicia Longwell, Lucien Smith: Southampton Suite brings the artist’s Rain Paintings series to conclusion with 10 large-scale paintings created in a plein air studio that he constructed on the East End during the summer of 2013. With the 9 x 7 ft acrylic on unprimed canvas Southampton Suite paintings, the artist created an immersive environment that continues his quest to “. . .replicate a natural process with manmade tools.”
JACKIE BLACK: LAST MEAL (SERIES), 2001–2003
Jackie Black’s photographs examine the ambiguity of American culture surrounding mortality. Organized by Curatorial Assistant and Parrish Publications Coordinator, Savannah Petrick, Last Meal is the artist’s commentary on capital punishment. To produce the 12 x 12 images, Black researched, recreated, and photographed the last meals and statements of 23 individuals who were tried, convicted, and executed in Texas under capital murder between 1984 and 2001. At first glance, they read as staged food photos on a glossy diner menu. But suspended against stark black background with no suggestion of social nor human aspects of mealtime, each becomes a macabre still life.
Some of the meals read as an inventory of favorite foods, such as Allen Castillo: 24 soft shell tacos, 6 enchiladas, 6 tostadas, 2 whole onions, 5 jalapenos, 2 cheeseburgers, 1 chocolate shake, 1 quart milk. Menus like this, evoking Fourth of July picnic fare, are contrasted with simple requests such as Charles William Bass: Plain cheese sandwich. Perhaps Black’s most affecting portrait is one devoid of food or drink. Robert Anthony Madden: ASKED THAT LAST MEAL BE GIVEN TO A HOMELESS PERSON (REQUEST DENIED.), four lines of white type, is a plaintive appeal from a distant, disembodied source.
HOUSEBOUND: FAIRFIELD PORTER AND HIS CIRCLE OF POETS AND PAINTERS
In 1949, Fairfield Porter and his wife, poet Anne Channing Porter, moved from New York City to a 19th-c. sea captain’s house in the village of Southampton, NY. For the next three decades the couple’s friends gravitated there for a weekend or an extended stay, chronicling their social mores and shared sensibilities in words and paint. Houseboundpresents paintings and poems from this era side by side, bringing in sharp focus the many connections between the works and the artists who created them. Nearly 40 paintings by Porter, Robert Dash, Jane Freilicher, Alex Katz, and Larry Rivers will be on view. Poems by Anne Porter and New York School poets John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, and James Schuyler will be accessible from SQR codes on the labels of specific works. The project grew out of a series of online live-stream talks by exhibition organizer Alicia Longwell, that were presented by the Museum during its temporary closure due to COVID when nation became housebound.
Paintings by Porter from the late 1940s and ’50s such as Anne Reading to Laurence, 1947, show intimate scenes in the Porter household, while others illustrate direct inspiration of one artist to another, such as Sketch for a Portrait of Jimmy Schuyler, 1962 , and Jane and Elizabeth, 1967, depicting Freilicher and her young daughter. Portraits by artists inspired by their writer friends include Alex Katz, Untitled (Portrait of Kenneth Koch), c 1970, and Larry Rivers’s lithograph, Untitled (John Ashbery), 1984, that brings together artist/poet/painting/poetry: Ashbery’s typed manuscript of his poem Pyrography is the surface for Rivers’s drawing of the poet at the typewriter.
Housebound: Fairfield Porter and his Circle of Poets and Painters is made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of Art Bridges Foundation.
The Museum’s exhibitions and programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the property taxpayers from the Southampton Union Free School District and the Tuckahoe Common School District.
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.