Summer in the city has its benefits, especially when that city is NYC. While some galleries close in July and August, plenty stage exhibitions that keep us gallery hopping during July and August. From Cindy Sherman's revolutionary image-making at Hauser & Wirth to Todd Bienvenu's reflection on the joys of minor social tragedies at Almine Rech, Manhattanites won't be starved for art during the hottest months of the year.
But if you want to get away from the crowds, there's a wealth of art institutions in the wider New York State, just an hour (or two hours') drive from the city. Read on for our top picks of what to see in the Hamptons and Upstate New York.
A perfect way to get acquainted with the verdant hillsides and forests (and towns) alongside the Hudson River, is Upstate Art Weekend. From July 22 to 24, the initiative allows visitors to discover more than 100 exhibitions, events and projects. Manitoga and Magazzino Italian Art are only two of our favorites destinations, and the art offering Upstate keeps expanding. A brand new non-profit art space, Assembly, opened in Monticello this spring with ambitions to revitalize the Catskill Mountains town's center. It's the brain child of Mexican-born, Brooklyn-based artist Bosco Sodi, who asked Mexican architect Alberto Kalac to restore the old Buick dealership on the town's largely boarded-up main drag. The hangar-style building's inaugural exhibition, Assembly 1: Unstored gathers work by artists from Mexico and based in Mexico, mostly – among which Adeline de Monseignat who The Cultivist featured in March. Throughout the summer, exhibitions devoted to cultural, social and economic exchange will be organized, such as Izumi Kato, Bosco Sodi, Shiro Tsujimura and Contemporary Sculpture from Mexico. Assembly is open Thursday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free, but booking in advance is necessary.
Storm King Art Center is always a good idea: it's vast, so perfect for hiking or biking, the permanent installation contains canonical work by artists like Alexander Calder and Lynda Benglis – and it's green and leafy, ideally located to catch a breeze.
Until November 7, Wangechi Mutu's temporary exhibition refreshingly defies expectations. Not only is the work of the Kenyan-born multidisciplinary artist less in the realm of abstraction than much of the work at the sculpture park, her eight large-scale bronze sculptures are both very realistic and futuristic and give the viewer an uncanny jolt upon encounter. Installed on Storm King’s Museum Hill, one depicts a woven basket containing coiled snakes, another a bunch of braids. At some point, you'll encounter a woman lying on the ground, in Shavasana position, purple heels partly slipped off, covered in what looks like a rug rather than a blanket. It's a meditation on the unpredictability of death and addresses our ideas of historical violence and its impact on women, mythology, and ritual. A stark contrast to the surroundings, but all the more powerful for it.
Out East, the surroundings turn whitewashed, and the light gathers a different intensity. It's true that the pandemic spurred many blue-chip galleries’ expansion to the Hamptons, yet this cluster of villages along the South Fork of Long Island has long been an artist haven. This summer, there's no dearth of options for those who like to balance out bucolic beach time with artistic excursions.
We're excited about the Peter Marino Foundation's no less than six exhibitions in Southampton, set to showcase work by celebrated artists like Anselm Kiefer and Jean Michel Othoniel. We're also keeping a keen eye on Pace, as the gallery is staging short term exhibitions in its East Hampton location that rival its other locations' shows both in terms of subject matter and in length. In the longer term, make sure to plan a visit to Camille Henrot's sculpture show at Hauser & Wirth in Southampton (until September 4) and the Joaquín Sorolla and Esteban Vicente exhibition at the Parrish (until October 16) in Water Mill, with paintings that are perfect meditations on how light and nature become one in the light and color of their gardens.
If you're interested attending our events in the Hamptons and Upstate, such as a Mini Cultivist pour painting event at the Pollock-Krasner House on July 29, a day trip to Assembly on August 19, and more, inquire about a Cultivist membership today.
– Words by Siska Lyssens