Return to a Place by the Sea: Opening Reception
Return to A Place By the Sea revisits and recontextualizes the 1999 exhibition A Place By the Sea that celebrated the work and friendship of four African American artists: Nanette Carter (b. 1954), Gregory Coates (b. 1961), Al Loving (1935-2005), and Frank Wimberley (b.1926). Initially organized in 1999 by Jim Richard Wilson at the Rathbone Gallery of the Russell Sage College in Albany, the show traveled to Christine Nienaber Contemporary Art in New York and the Arlene Bujese Gallery in East Hampton. This February, thanks to the combined curation of The Church’s Co-Founder April Gornik and Chief Curator Sara Cochran, we will explore the type of art these artists were making in the 1990s and update this conversation by exploring their more recent work. Our goal is to deepen the understanding of these influential artists, who have only begun to receive international acclaim for their work. The show also delineates a more inclusive history of abstract painting in New York in the late 20th century and looks beyond the historical standard of race and gender. Uniting some works from the original show with recent paintings, works on paper, and sculpture, Return to A Place By the Sea highlights the relevancy of each artist of “The Eastville Four.” Given that for a time, all four artists lived part of the year in the Eastville/ SANS neighborhood to the east of Sag Harbor, this exhibition further honors the tradition of Sag Harbor as a maker’s place of diverse art, industry, and craft practices.
Carter, Coates, Loving, and Wimberley shared a deep kinship. They were committed to abstract painting and shared an appreciation of jazz music with its vitality and basis in spontaneity and experimentation. Their lives and work were intertwined by their associations with The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Cinque Gallery in New York where they showed their work, and the Eastville Community where they have summer homes and found space to work and relax. The exhibition will feature programming that spotlights each artist and new video interviews with Carter, Coates, and Wimberley.
Join us for the opening on Saturday, February 4th, from 6-7:30 PM.