From left to right:
Wu Chi-Tsung, Cyano- Collage 118, 2021 Photography by Jason Wyche, NY ; Jeremy Dennis, I Could Stand Here All Night, 2021; Inka Essenhigh, Grey Men, 2015 Courtesy of the artist & Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Julian Schnabel, Ahab, 2001 Photo by Tom Powel Imaging



Opening Reception
MARCH 26, 2022 | 6-8PM

Exhibition Hours: Wed–Sun | 12-5PM MARCH 27–MAY 30, 2022


SAG HARBOR, NY — The Church is pleased to announce the details on its spring exhibition Empire of Water, which opens on March 27, 2022. Given the effects of climate change, the global need for clean water, and the specific issues on the East End of Long Island, the topic of water is timely and important. In the exhibition, the theme of water is depicted as a natural element, a scientific subject, an issue of social justice, a historical factor, an ecological question, an aesthetic tradition, a metaphor, and a simple necessity for the existence of life on Earth. From the plentiful resources it provided to Native Americans before first contact to the area’s maritime history—which includes colonization and slavery—in addition to the area’s long-standing tradition of agriculture and the current economic importance of the ocean and beaches as the motor of the region’s tourism industry, fresh and salt waters have defined the historic communities on the East End of Long Island since their inception.

Including 47 artworks by 44 artists in a variety of mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, and digital work, this exhibition brings together established and emerging artists in the area with artists from across the globe. Their artworks represent and use the theme of water in a myriad of ways: artists like Doug Aitken, Linda K. Alpern, Reneke Dijkstra, and Sally Mann address its place in leisure; Daniel Beltra, Scott Bluedorn, Edward Burtynsky, Liza Lou, and Andy Warhol find beauty, horror, and humor in the realities of pollution; Tonico Lemos Aud, Cappy Amundsen, Paton Miller, and Duke Riley reflect on the traditions of those who live by the sea; and John Alexander, Ross Bleckner, Jim Campbell, Vija Celmins, Thornton Dial, April Gornik, Lawren Harris, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Longo, Clifford Ross, and Hiroshi Sugimoto create compelling images of waterscapes.

Eric Fischl, cofounder of The Church, says of the exhibition, “Water, water everywhere is what you will see when you visit Empire of Water. We’ve pulled together 44 artists who have found a wide range of creative and surprising ways to express aspects of our complex relationship to this liquid which covers most of the earth’s surface and dominates so much of our history of exploration, commerce, conquest, and survival. This magical and mundane substance has occupied the creative and spiritual imagination since man began to make images and sounds. It is our hope that the audience, so familiar with this subject, will find works of art that surprise, impress, provoke and amuse them in utterly new ways.”



The mission of The Church is to foster creativity among the diverse communities on the East End and honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. It functions as an artist residency, exhibition space and creative center. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th century Methodist church, The Church aspires to be a place where local and national artists and creatives can work, meet, and inspire each other. Founded by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik, The Church began operation in 2021. Championing new and traditional technologies through collaboration, education, and outreach, we strive to be an asset for the community in all its richness and heterogeneity.

For more information: www.thechurchsagharbor.org


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AAQ / Resource: Sotheby’s International Realty