Art update

The New Parrish Art Museum, Watermill

Parrish Art Museum                                    (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Parrish Art Museum (Photo: Iwan Baan)

Driving west on Montauk Highway from Sagaponack, on April 13th, it was almost impossible to know when the new Parrish Art Museum was going to appear, as there were no signs anywhere. Suddenly it came into view, a plain white shed beautifully placed on an open field in total harmony with the landscape and light of the East End.

Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss award winning architects, among whose designs include the bird’s nest Olympic stadium in Beijing (2008), the de Young Museum in San Francisco (2010) and the Caixa Forum in Madrid (2008) are responsible for this project. Faced with the challenge of a slashed budget from $80M to $26.2M, the architects designed a gigantic barn with poured concrete on the outer walls and floors, as well as a corrugated metal roof spreading over the sides. Following the path alongside the newly planted deciduous trees, one happens upon the entrance, which is very modest and at the same time welcoming. The use of rough textured wood for some doors and walls adds to the casualness of the building. There is a long hall with two rows of galleries, which constitutes the basic minimal plan. A clever solution indeed! 
Currently on view is “Collective Conversations” including four works by Flavin, de Kooning, Sonnier and Youngerman, which all explore space, light and line in magnificent and poetic ways. 
Don’t miss Jack Youngerman’s latest paintings on view at the Joan Washburn Gallery in New York.  
Jack Youngerman, Conflux II, 2003@ Parrish Art Museum
We were directed to The Open Studio at the end of the hall, where each Saturday, tables are set up with paint supplies and paper for families to create art. The charming teacher offered us seats and encouraged us to use either watercolors or oils. You can see how keen my granddaughters Serena (4 1/2) and Alessandra (2) are to create their dreams and visions in this stunning environment looking out upon the fields.
Alessandra and Serena @ The Open Studio
Herzog & de Meuron created a relaxed, sophisticated and easily accessible museum for the community. It resonates both the ambience and nature, harking back to the 1950’s, when painters such as Pollock, Krasner, de Kooning, Rivers and Vincente first arrived to seek refuge from noisy Manhattan. They were inspired by the extraordinary light, verdant landscapes and sublime skies, as are the artists of today.