American History in Focus at Tripoli Gallery - 27 East

Arts & Living

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American History in Focus at Tripoli Gallery

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April Gornik

April Gornik "Light Passing," 1987, oil on linen, 76" x 106." COURTESY TRIPOLI GALLERY

authorStaff Writer on Jun 30, 2023

Tripoli Gallery takes on the topic of “American History” in an exhibition running July 14 to August 14, with work by Alice Aycock, Mary Carlson, Sally Egbert, Connie Fox, April Gornik, Mary Heilmann, Esther Ruiz, Sally Saul and Pat Steir. The show opens with a reception on Friday, July 14, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The world is wrought in history — forward, backward, present. It seeps from every crevice, every story passed down from one generation to the next, wars that have come and gone, blemishes that stain or blot collective memories, and animals that are now extinct.

“American History” as an exhibition seeks to look at the concept of history as less static than words on a page or accounts deemed important by someone else. The show seeks to shine a light on a group of selected artists who have already carved a notch in the tree of life with their respective practices over many years. Each one is already a piece of American history.

In the search for, or rebuttal of, important historical references, the gallery seeks to reformulate history through a contemporary lens. Since its founding in 2009, gallery owner Tripoli Patterson has watched and supported local artists who have indelibly left a mark on the art world. While some have worked hard to shine brightly and are only just getting the attention they deserve, others moved through the currents of resistance and have been glowing for years. If history is unending, a candle with an endless supply of wax, does this mean it can be interjected upon?

After a prompt by artist Mary Heilmann, the gallery decided to delve deeper into the topic through an exhibition that continues to reexamine the narrative of the East End art community which plays such a large role in art history. The strength of the action is that these notations of time are meant to be remembered.

“The world is in such an especially crazy, history-making time,” said artist Sally Egbert, “This exhibit shines a strong and compassionate light on the state of things, opening the door for change and a beautiful, powerful way to view the world.”

Tripoli Gallery is at 26 Ardsley Road, Wainscott (enter via East Gate Road). For more information, visit

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