If you’ve ever wanted to snatch an artwork off a museum wall and take it home with you, this summer’s Hampton Fine Art Fair might offer visitors the next best experience. This Labor Day weekend (September, 2–5), the fair will be taking over the historic Southampton Arts Center, the former location of the Parrish Art Museum.
For a hundred years, the building has stood as a beacon for the visual arts in the Hamptons. Today the space functions as a non-profit cultural center with a community focus on the East End.
During the fair, 70 international galleries will exhibit; 51 of these galleries will make physical presentations in the space, while all the galleries will have a navigable virtual presence on the fair website.
This year’s edition will present a devoted M.C. Escher display as well as a strong representation of second-generation Abstract Expressionists and a recreation of Jackson Pollock’s studio floor. Another highlight: Artist Audrey Flack, who at 90 years old still maintains a studio presence in East Hampton, will be awarded the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Hollis Taggart Galleries.
After the fair, don’t skip exploring the museum grounds. Local arts doyen Eric Fischl has curated “Whimsy” an outdoor sculpture exhibition that includes works by Mel Kendrick, Alice Aycock, Hans van de Bovenkamp, William King, David Salle, and others.
One highlight of that show is Larry Rivers’s Legs. The sculpture, which reaches some 20 feet high, was first exhibited locally in 1969 and has become synonymous with the area. (Legs is on display courtesy of the Larry Rivers Foundation.)
After last year’s virtual programming, the fair returns in-person to a much expanded Hamptons art scene bolstered by the exodus of New York City galleries to Long Island during lockdown. Now art lovers in the area will have the singular opportunity to visit a fair simply by strolling through the historic heart of Southampton Village
“This is the elegantly curated boutique show that Hamptonites have been seeking for years. As the only fine art fair that is held inside an actual art museum and grounds, our guests will feel a sense of luxury as they enter,” said Rick Friedman, executive director of the fair.
Hamptons Fine Art Fair will take place September 2–5, 2021.