The Hamptons has long served as a hub for the arts and destination for artists. The coastal surroundings and longstanding love affair with what some artists believe to be legendary natural light has prompted notable names like Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Dash and David Salle to gravitate toward the South Fork.
Spots like the Parrish Art Museum — which welcomes guests with head-turning sculptures by Roy Lichtenstein — and festivals like the Fine Arts Fair showcase the Hamptons’ happy embrace of all mediums of art. Sculpture, photography, painting and mixed — it’s all welcome in these parts. Even with large crowds, it’s easy to get lost in the art. However, local galleries provide a more intimate experience. Tucked away on Main Streets and side streets, galleries have works from historical and contemporary figures. Guests can peruse them, perhaps engaging in conversation with a gallery owner to learn more. It’s equal parts educational and relaxing.
If you’re looking to take in the East End arts without the crowds, head to one of these Hamptons galleries (and perhaps head home with a new work of art).
Housed in one of East Hampton’s first settler homes (and perched right next to a historic windmill), this shingled saltbox was built by John Lion Gardiner and, in 2014, purchased and lovingly spruced up with funds from the East Hampton Community Preservation Fund. Since 2019, it’s been a magical little spot to view the work of early Artist Colony landscape painting from the Cottage’s permanent collection. Executive director Terry Wallace keeps that spirit alive by curating shows of other important local works, too, like this summer’s “Peconic Bay Impressionism,” where paintings like “Scallop Boat at Dock” by Caroline Bell and “Along the Sound Shore” by Elliot Alvah Brooks show us the beauty of our very own East End Monets and Renoirs.
This Sag Harbor gallery focuses on classical-style paintings by living artists. Find paintings with coastal influences like Marc Dalessio and Nelson White, realism paintings of everyday objects from Sarah Lamb, and works inspired by the world travels of Rachel Personnett. The gallery’s current exhibition features one of its favorite artists, Ben Fenske, in his annual solo show. Slated to be on view through September 8, Fenske’s paintings capture simple yet relatable moments between his muse Amy Florence, their dog Buddy, and nature.
The East Hampton outpost of the New York City gallery offers exhibits throughout the year but comes alive each summer. Previous exhibits have celebrated the Hamptons high season with cross-generational exhibits featuring paintings and sculptures depicting gardens and sunny days. Another exhibit, the straightforward name “(Mostly) Women (Mostly) Abstract” runs through September 17. The Salon, located at 62 Newtown Ln., is by appointment only.
This gallery specializing in the fine arts has stood the test of time — a staple in Bridgehampton since 1976. Originating in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, this Bridgehampton gallery focuses on contemporary, abstract and landscape paintings. The current exhibit, “Primary Colors,” showcases geometric shapes of Greg Chann, landscapes from Maeve D’arcy and the interplay of color and light from Elizabeth Hazan. Last chance to see it is today. A single-artist exhibit with works from D’arcy focusing on spaces — real and imagined – begins September 14.
This East End gallery exhibits and sells works from known and emerging artists, specializing in helping private clients build their collections. The current exhibit features work from Randy Polumbo that was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic — think tactile tables, surreal chandeliers and the hand-blown glass and video artworks he’s known for creating.
This fine art gallery, which also has a location in Palm Beach, opened its doors a decade ago and features works from artists from around the world. Paintings, sculptures and photography are the primary mediums showcased and available for sale. Shots from the wild (literally) from photographer Sheridan Wright are available upon request. Previous exhibits included iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe taken by Bert Stern weeks before the actress’ death and a contemporary collection of new artworks from artists like Janet Jennings and Rene Romero Schuler.
This gallery is filled to the grim with an eclectic mix of colorful paintings, glassblowers, pottery and books. The current exhibit, which runs until Aug. 17, features recent works from Christopher Engel that blend figurative and abstract imagery that are full of color and expressive technique. “The Swimming Lesson” feels spiritual, evoking St. John the Baptist, and like a familiar serene beach day all at once.
This gallery with locations in New York City, Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor specializes in post-war and contemporary art. Peruse collections of abstract paintings, steel sculptures and standout installations. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Christopher Wool have been among the artists on exhibit throughout the years.
Founded by curator Hilary Schaffner and artist Ryan Wallace in 2011, Halsey McKay became lauded for its keen eye for the arts and a trusted resource for budding and seasoned art enthusiasts. The eclectic mix of work from emerging and mid-career artists from around the globe include mixed medium installations from Patrick Brennan and expressive prints from Bryan Graf.
This year-round gallery offers exhibits that span mediums, but photography has been in focus during he summer of 2023 has been focused Bowie, Beyonce & Beyond wraps on Aug. 6, but there’s still time to see Markus Klinko photographs of some of this summer’s biggest names (Beyonce and Barbie). When the curtain closes on that exhibit, it’ll rise on Mon Dance, a striking series of photographs from Bob Tabor.