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3 Art Shows to See This Month

BY Sahar Khan | July 26, 2017 | Feature Features

A neglected art form has its day in the sun, and we take a peek behind the Iron Curtain—and at ourselves.
“Fatherhood/Who's Bleeding?” by Scott Avett at the Southampton Arts Center

At the Parrish Art Museum, art gets real with From Lens to Eye to Hand: Photorealism 1969 to Today, an exhibit that studies the birth of the once groundbreaking movement and what it’s grown into over the ensuing five decades. The show features 73 paintings, watercolors and other works on paper, some never before exhibited in an American museum, from 35 artists who include founding fathers Chuck Close and Richard Estes. The genre originated in 1960s New York and California and was derided as a fad reacting to pop and performance art. It gained traction in the ’70s and set the stage for contemporary artists like Raphaella Spence and Anthony Brunelli, who use digital image-making to adapt photorealism to the 21st century. Lens to Eye, however, focuses on the minute brushstrokes of early masters like Ralph Goings, who captures the customerless interior of a roadside diner in “Miss Albany Diner,” and John Salt, who depicts a sun-bleached junkyard in “Albuquerque Wreck Yard,” infusing ordinary scenes with extraordinary poignancy. Aug. 6-Jan. 21, 2018, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill

The Cold War is hot again, at least the in art world. Thanks to an unending barrage of news on the current administration’s Russia-related scandals, it seems appropriate to turn an artistic eye toward the land that once represented the greatest threat to America. The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center did just that with Abstract Expressionism Behind the Iron Curtain. The exhibit pulls back the dusty drapes to showcase rare works from former Soviet bloc artists who, despite the Communist Party’s strict regulations on art, created pieces inspired by the genre, which they were exposed to during travel or contact with Western artists. Many Soviet artists fled to the West, but this show focuses on those who remained behind and continued to make unsanctioned works, even while facing danger from the regime. The paintings, by artists such as Andrej Jemec from Slovenia and Tadeusz Kantor from Poland, encapsulate abstract expressionism’s improvisation, intuitive imagery and, perhaps most importantly, emotional appeal of a universally understood visual language. Aug. 3-Oct. 28, 830 Springs-Fireplace Road, East Hampton

The prestigious New York Academy of Art makes its way out East with About Face, a study of contemporary portraiture at the Southampton Arts Center that sheds light on the manifold ways people examine each other and themselves through art. In the selfie era, we have become inured to just glancing at a countenance before moving onto the next. But in keeping with the tradition of the Academy’s mission of promoting figurative work, these 70 paintings, sculptures and photographs by heavyweights such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Alex Katz and Eric Fischl, as well as Academy faculty and alumni, invite the viewer to linger on the details of a face and ponder the story it tells for longer than a quick swipe left. Through Sept. 17, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton

Photography Courtesy Of: