East Hampton arts center Guild Hall has lots in store this summer. The first, Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks, featuring more than 40 new paintings and watercolors by Alexis Rockman, opens June 12 and runs through July 26. Curated by Andrea Grover, Guild Hall’s executive director, these works by the American painter explore globalization, natural disasters, colonization and climate change.
The New York–based Rockman has depicted a darkly surreal vision of the collision between civilization and nature—often apocalyptic scenarios on a monumental scale—for over three decades. “I’m fascinated by the history of the iconography of shipwrecks and nautical history,” says Rockman. “And what better place to have this bouillabaisse of tragedy, hope and despair jam-packed full of great ideas and moments. So many things can be shipwrecks.” The artist also contributed artwork to visually unique films like Life of Pi, collaborating with directors Ang Lee and Darren Aronofsky. A companion catalog by DelMonico Books will be published in June.
LongHouse Reserve, the 16-acre nature reserve and outdoor sculpture garden in East Hampton founded by the late, great Jack Lenor Larsen, has reopened with new works on display. On view this season are two bluestone boulders onto which poetic phrases were carved by legendary poet, activist and artist John Giorno, who passed away in 2019. The two outdoor sculptures, “Do the Undone” (2019) and “You Can’t Hurt Me Cause Storms Can’t Hurt the Sky” (2019), are installed amongst daffodils in the vast garden, a lovely tribute to the New York artist, who spent his summers in Mattituck on the North Fork. He’s perhaps best known for his text paintings of recent decades, which feature curt and contradictory messages excerpted from his poetry—imperative, deadpan, sacred and sometimes profane. With their ironic clash of immaterial language and solid substance, these stone poems play with issues of transience and permanence, the text fragments appearing as chance apparitions.