Escaping to the beach or mountains for the summer does not need to equate to a cultural black hole for three months. In fact, some of the greatest visual-art gems are in Aspen and the Hamptons. Frankly, I find these spaces offer a greater feeling of warmth and intimacy than many of the larger, mainstream museums around the world. And, speaking of the world, the art itself is world class. Enjoy!
The Parrish Art Museum is pure awesomeness. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Parrish is the postmodern Herzog & de Meuron–designed building in the middle of a field off Montauk Highway with the Roy Lichtenstein sculptures by the driveway entry. The collection includes more than 2,500 works of modern and contemporary art. Since the Hamptons have long been a favored work space for many artists due to the magnificent light and landscape, many local (but internationally celebrated) artists’ works are housed here. The permanent collection includes talents such as Fairfield Porter, Cindy Sherman, John Chamberlain, and Willem de Kooning. I was very excited to run into Tara Donovan installing her Slinky sculptures. Out of respect to the artist, I did not take photographs. You will have to go see the exhibit yourself after July 2.
Parrish Art Museum
279 Montauk Highway
Water Mill, New York
The Dan Flavin Art Institute is actually the former First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton. Originally built in 1908, Dia Art Foundation purchased the building in 1979 as a long-term exhibition space for Flavin, a nearby Wainscott resident, and changing exhibitions. Flavin and architect Richard Gluckman restored and renovated the structure. The present space pays respect to its former function as a church, though it is clearly an art gallery. Housed on the second floor, for instance, is a permanent exhibition space for church memorabilia, including a neon cross. The remainder of the space incorporates temporary exhibitions. The Dan Flavin Art Institute is the perfect way to stimulate your brain and senses without committing an entire day to being “serious” in the Hamptons.
Dan Flavin Art Institute
Bridgehampton, New York
The Pollock Krasner House & Study Center is the former home of husband-and-wife artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. It was built in 1879 and is quietly nestled in the East Hampton Springs. A lesser-known fact is that Peggy Guggenheim loaned the Pollocks the money to purchase the house when they decided to relocate from the city. Truth be known, I had been meaning to visit for years and could never make the time. Go figure, it is right next door to my son’s personal trainer (plug for MuvStronger because we adore Gordon). Anyone can take a group tour or book a guide at designated times. The house is a registered National Historic Landmark and still has such works as Pollock’s Composition With Red Arc and Horses, and prints by both Pollock and Krasner.
Pollock Krasner House & Study Center
830 Springs-Fireplace Road
East Hampton, New York
The Anderson Ranch Arts Center is more of a programming, education, and artist residency space. In fact, it is arguably one of the best ones out there. (Full transparency as always, prior to a fantastic cocktail party in Miami during Art Basel, I knew nothing of the place.) Their workshops range from camps for young children to teens to residencies for professional artists. In the next few weeks alone, you can pop by to hear talks by Hank Willis Thomas, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, and Frank Stella. I mean, need I say more? It is only 15 minutes beyond the center of town in Aspen. I can’t even, and you must.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
5263 Owl Creek Road
Snowmass Village, Colorado
The Aspen Art Museum is a non-collecting but well-endowed, international contemporary art museum. They recently relocated to their new Shigeru Ban–designed building in 2014. They currently have multiple shows including Anne Collier, Teresita Fernández, and an amazing group show, Stories We Tell Ourselves. Stories includes artists such as Fischli and Weiss, Martin Creed, Yoko Ono, and Jenny Holzer, just to name a few. The museum is also currently in the process of installing the five-gallery Chris Ofili exhibition Night and Day, which will open in a few weeks. The museum received major attention for the new building. However, don’t let it detract from the fact that they show some of the world’s greatest contemporary art inside it.
Aspen Art Museum
637 East Hyman Avenue