Women Artists and Collectors Are at the Fore of the Hamptons Art Scene. Here Are 6 Female-Focused Exhibitions to See Into September


Summer may be coming to an end, but the Hamptons season is far from over—at least for the art scene. Women’s voices and narratives are stronger than ever out East, with several powerful shows curated by women artists and collectors which are spotlighting both overlooked makers and up-and-coming talents. Discover a multitude of inspiring and powerful perspectives with these six must-see shows, spanning photography, craft, furniture, sculpture, and more.  


“Renée Cox: A Proof of Being”
Guild Hall, through September 4 

Installation image, 'Renée Cox: A Proof of Being', courtesy Guild Hall of East Hampton. Photo by Gary Mamay.

Installation image, ‘Renée Cox: A Proof of Being’, courtesy Guild Hall of East Hampton. Photo by Gary Mamay.

Guild Hall is closing out its summer roster with a commanding retrospective of Jamaican-American artist Renée Cox. Over her 30-year career, she has become best known for her performative self-portraits and photographic tableaux in which Black women and men pose, reclaiming predominantly white art historical scenes. “The dramatic use of scale in Cox’s images is powerful, drawing you in or staring you down. A surprising, lesser-known narrative we encourage people to learn more about after seeing the exhibition is the series that depicts ‘Queen Nanny of the Maroons,’ the 18th-century female Jamaican national hero who defeated the British using guerilla warfare,” Andrea Grover, Guild Hall’s executive director, told Artnet News

Another highlight is a new video installation, Soul Culture (2022). Grover says this piece represents a “new direction” for Cox. “The room features moving patterns of sacred geometry collaged from the arms, legs, and bodies of Cox’s models. The artist says it’s meant to stop you from thinking and ‘keep you in the moment,’” added Grover.  

“Supernatural Beauty”
Onna House, through September 5 

Installation view "Supernatural Beauty" at Onna House, 2023. Photography by Memry Anderson / BFA.

Installation view “Supernatural Beauty” at Onna House, 2023. Photography by Memry Anderson / BFA.

Last year, fashion designer and collector Lisa Perry opened Onna House, a restored modernist home in East Hampton, featuring a rotating mix of art and objects by female makers. “We reinvent ourselves with every show,” the multihyphenate tells Artnet News. This summer Onna House is showcasing six talents working across media ranging from fiber textiles to metal sculpture in a group show called “Supernatural Beauty.”  

“LA-based artist Lisa Eisner turns jewelry into art, and Spanish artist Adriana Meunié uses materials she sources in Mallorca to create artistic clothing and art,” said Perry who aspires for the exhibition to expand the meaning of art. “I love the idea of bringing together six women artists from multiple disciplines and backgrounds to find in essence they all speak a similar language with the common goal of seeking beauty in the ordinary and the extraordinary.” 


“Women Choose Women”
Exhibition The Barn, through September 9 

Installation view "Women Choose Women" 2023. Photography by Eric Striffler.

Installation view “Women Choose Women” 2023. Photography by Eric Striffler.

In Bridgehampton, three powerhouse women have teamed up to present the work of female artists and designers spanning the 1950s to today. Christine Berry and Martha Campbell, co-founders of Berry Campbell (a gallery known for its promotion of overlooked artists, particularly women of Abstract Expressionism) have joined Elena Frampton, principal of Frampton Co. at the designer’s gallery space, Exhibition The Barn. “Set within a converted 1910 barn turned gallery, ‘Women Choose Women’ presents historical and contemporary paintings, sculpture, collectible design, and our own furniture line, all within an unconventional living room setting,” said Frampton. 

“Women Choose Women” is named after the landmark exhibition held at the New York Cultural Center in 1973, which was also curated by a committee of women artists. Fifty years later, Frampton, Berry, and Campbell believe more progress needs to be made, and have, thus, brought together works, ranging from a rare work on paper by Elaine de Kooning to contemporary sculpture and furniture by Swiss-born, Los Angeles-basedCarmen D’Apollonio, presented in collaboration with Friedman Benda. 


“(Mostly) Women (Mostly) Abstract”
Eric Firestone Gallery, through September 17 

Judy Pfaff, Great Glasses (1988). Courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery.

Judy Pfaff, (1988). Courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery.

This August Eric Firestone Gallery is presenting a two-part exhibition across its East Hampton and New York City locations. The Hamptons iteration of “(Mostly) Women (Mostly) Abstract” features a cross-generational group of 22 experimental post-war artists, often on the fringes of the mainstream art world. “The show delves into the works of contemporary artists and their predecessors, who practiced abstract art and explored otherness in this genre—themes such as ethnicity, race, gender, and sexual orientation, which are as relevant now as ever,” gallerist and curator Eric Firestone told Artnet News. Though the artists are separated by time and experiences, their “intensely graphic work and saturated colors” form a cohesive narrative.  

Firestone says a can’t-miss work is American artist Judy Pfaff’s kaleidoscopic 1988 sculpture, Great Glasses. “Her work is highly fresh and relevant…you’ll want to explore the sculpture’s many facets and the story it tells,” he added. Among the other artists featured are Kennedy Yanko, best known for shaping paint skin into sculpture, and Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award recipient, Nina Yankowitz, whose sculpture, often made using handicraft techniques, challenges the notion of “women’s work.”  


“Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World”
Southampton Art Center, through September 30 

Installation view "Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World" 2023. Courtesy of Southhampton Arts Center.

Installation view “Change Agents: Women Collectors Shaping the Art World” 2023. Courtesy of Southhampton Arts Center.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Southampton Arts Center has staged a pioneering show bringing together 14 women collectors, as prestigious as Agnes Gund, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Lisa Perry, and Mickalene Thomas. SAC’s Executive Director, Christina Mossaides Strassfield, says it was founding board co-chair Simone Levinson who came up with the concept, which had surprisingly never been explored to this extent. “Historically and today, female collectors make a huge difference in the art world through their philanthropy and support of artists,” said Mossaides Strassfield, calling to mind Abigail Rockefeller, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and Peggy Guggenheim. “The women whose collections are featured in ‘Change Agents’ continue to carry that torch.” 

Rather than be divided into sections by collectors, the works are interspersed, so that the “presentation lets each work speak for itself,” added Mossaides Strassfield. “The synergy among the results creates a beautiful dialogue that helps one to rethink the art historical cannon.” Artists in the exhibition range from heavy hitters, including Andy Warhol, Mark Bradford, and Lorna Simpson, to quickly rising talents, such as Michaela Yearwood Dan, Tala Madani, and Becky Suss. 


“Two Pieces in the Shape of a Pear: A Group Exhibition Curated by Pat Steir” 
Hauser & Wirth, through September 30 

Angel Otero, <i>Splintered</i> (2019)© Angel Otero. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Matthew Herrmann

Angel Otero, Splintered (2019)© Angel Otero. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Matthew Herrmann

Southampton’s most invigorating exhibition this summer has been curated by none other than Pat Steir, who has paired works across medium and genre. “Something magical often comes from inviting a great artist to curate a show of works by other artists they admire…Pat Steir approached the assignment as a way to reveal some surprising affinities between eight wonderful artists across several generations—people we might otherwise never have imagined together in the same way,” Madeline Warren, senior director at Hauser & Wirth, told Artnet News. “It took a painter to recognize the shared gestures, forms, and methods, the connections that lie within and underneath the contrasts. The show is full of delights because Pat’s provocative pairings tease out these sorts of unexpected connections.” 

For the show, Steir paired one of her electric drip paintings from 1993 with Rashid Johnson’s (2023), a chromatically subdued, yet haunting iteration of his “Anxious Men” works. The other pairings include Cindy Sherman and Mickalene Thomas, Rita Ackermann and Avery Singer, and Mary Heilmann and Martha Tuttle. 

Also while visiting Hauser & Wirth’s Southampton gallery, don’t miss “Jane Yang: D’Haene / earthbound,” presenting the Brooklyn-based artist’s experimental, highly textured ceramics, inspired by her South Korean heritage and Moon Jars. 


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