Amy Sillman. Photos by Calla Kessler 

David Salle portrait in Ft. Greene studio

Art21 and The Church Present


The World Premiere screening of
Amy Sillman: To Abstract 


Saturday, May 12th | 1:30 PM

Followed by
Amy Sillman and David Salle
in conversation  


The Church welcomes Art21 as our presenting partner in a special screening of the world premiere of a new short-format documentary on the life and work of acclaimed artist AMY SILLMAN.  Sillman and Art21 Executive Director Tina Kukielski will introduce the eight-minute film, which will be followed by a dynamic dialogue between Amy Sillman and fellow painter David Salle.


Art21 is a not-for-profit whose mission to educate and expand access to contemporary art through the production of documentary films, resources, and public programs. Their acclaimed short-format films are readily accessible online, as well as on television through their partnership with PBS. Their latest documentary, on painter Amy Sillman, is a brief yet hearty exploration of the artist’s iconic approach to abstraction that is simultaneously as cerebral as it is intuitive. 

Following the screening, Sillman will be joined by painter David Salle. Salle is a generation-defining representational painter and author of the popular book How To See,  who will mount an exhibition of new paintings next fall in New York. Sillman and Salle have a long-standing intellectual repartee on art, ideas, and aesthetics – which will make for a stimulating reflection on the themes evoked by the film.

Both Salle and Sillman have residences on the East End – Sillman on the North Fork, and Salle on the South Fork. The program proudly expands upon The Church’s mission of fostering creativity on the East End of Long Island and honoring the history of Sag Harbor as a maker’s village.



Amy Sillman was born in 1955 in Detroit, Michigan, and currently lives and works in New York. Known for her vigorously materialist paintings, Sillman also works with animation, writing, and large-scale installations. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at institutions including: Arts Club of Chicago, Illinois; Camden Arts Centre, London; Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Drawing Center, New York; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. In 2014, Sillman’s solo exhibition, “one lump or two,” traveled from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, to the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New York. In 2022, Sillman participated in The International Exhibition of the 59th Venice Biennale, “The Milk of Dreams.” This May and September respectively, Sillman will open solo exhibitions at Gladstone Gallery in New York and Kunstmuseum Bern, the latter of which will travel to Ludwig Forum in Aachen in 2025. Her book of writing on art, Faux Pas, was published by After 8 Books in Paris, in 2020, and is now in its third printing. Sillman’s works are held in the public collections of prominent institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 



David Salle helped define the post-modern sensibility by combining figuration with an extremely varied pictorial language. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at museums and galleries worldwide, including the Whitney Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA Vienna; Menil Collection, Houston; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Castello di Rivoli; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Guggenheim, Bilbao. Salle's paintings are in the permanent collections of major museums throughout America as well as Europe and Asia. Although known primarily as a painter, Salle’s work grows out of a long-standing involvement with performance. Over the last 35 years, he has worked with choreographer Karole Armitage, creating sets and costumes for many of her ballets and opera productions. Their collaborations have been staged at venues throughout Europe and America, including the Metropolitan Opera House, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In addition, Salle is also a prolific writer on art. His essays and interviews have appeared in Artforum, Art News, The Paris Review, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as numerous exhibition catalogs and anthologies. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, and his collection of essays, HOW TO SEE: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art, was published by W.W. Norton in 2016


ART 21

Art21 is the world’s leading source to learn directly from the artists of our time. The mission of Art21 is to educate and expand access to contemporary art through the production of documentary films, resources, and public programs. The vision of Art21 is to inspire a more creative and inclusive world through the works and words of contemporary artists. Art21 produces award-winning documentary films about the world’s most groundbreaking contemporary artists. In its signature style, Art21 captures the artist’s voice without narration through its flagship PBS-broadcast series, Art in the Twenty-First Century, and digital short film series Extended Play and New York Close Up. Viewed annually by millions of people across the globe, the entire library of Art21 films is available to stream for free online. 


 (View the events calendar here) The Church was established in 2019 by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th-century church, its doors were opened in April 2021. Our mission is to foster creativity and to honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. The East End represents an exceptional artistic legacy, spanning the practices of Indigenous art of several centuries ago, Abstract Expressionists of the mid-20th Century, and the many celebrated writers, makers, musicians, and visual artists of the recent past and current moment. Core programming includes visual art exhibitions, concerts and events, educational programming, workshops, lectures, and an artist’s residency.


 The Church  

48 Madison Street

Sag Harbor, New York 11963




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