East-End Adventures: Inside the Hamptons Art World

largeSource: Observer | July 7, 2015

BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY — You knew something was up at ArtHamptons when the valet parkers were overwhelmed on Day One, pointing frantically when spaces became available for the next shiny Lexus to slide in.

AH Fair, the first of three contemporary-art fairs that will be held in the Hamptons this summer, kicked off last weekend with what it reported as record attendance—12,000 visitors in four days. Opening night, it greeted the large crowd of invitees in expensive sundresses and Italian sunglasses that it had optimistically dubbed “Black Card VIPs” with caviar, rum tastings and booths of contemporary art from 17 countries.

By and large, painting and, to a lesser degree, sculpture trumped photography at the fair (with some exceptions), both in the space given over to it and the sales of it. Those dealers who prospered included veteran SoHo gallerist June Kelly, selling works by Stan Brodsky and Claudia DeMonte.

The next day, Whitewall Magazine had a party to celebrate its summer issue at the East Hampton farm of sculptor, jewelry designer and Gagosian artist Mia Fonssagrives-Solow. (She’s moving into larger-scale, gleaming fiberglass sculptures these days, she noted excitedly.) East End dealer Eric Firestone co-hosted.

Saturday, July 4, the Parrish Art Museum opened Tara Donovan’s sculpture show of Slinkys. Sunday, Ruschmeyer’s, the summer-camp inspired hotel all the way East in Montauk, celebrated the surfboard mosaics of artist-in-residence—now that’s a job—Jason Dussalt.

The highlight? Just maybe Southampton’s old-fashioned, flag-waving small town Independence Day Parade.

Check the slideshow for a look at what went on where.