Open Your Eyes At The Parrish - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 1565087

Open Your Eyes At The Parrish

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Charles Bell,

Charles Bell, "Before the Journey," 1986.

Robert Gniewek

Robert Gniewek "Al's Diner."

Saul Steinberg,

Saul Steinberg, "Untitled (Amagansett Post Office)," 1981

Saul Steinberg,

Saul Steinberg, "Trains," 1950.

"The Artist’s Hand: Circles, Squares, And Squiggles," installation view. GARY MAMAY

"Tom Slaughter: Primary Colors," installation view. GARY MAMAY

"Contemporary Portraits’ Split Reference," installation view. GARY MAMAY

"What We See, How We See," installation view.

"Saul Steinberg: Modernist Without Portfolio," installation view. GARY MAMAY

authorStaff Writer on Dec 6, 2019

On November 10, the Parrish Art Museum opened “What We See, How We See,” a series of seven special exhibitions that juxtapose distinct image-making approaches by artists working in abstraction and figuration, from the late 19th century until today. Multi-generational and multi-faceted, these projects, taken together, offer a nuanced and compelling exploration about the very nature of seeing. Featuring 125 paintings, works on paper, and sculpture by Charles Bell, Perle Fine, Jeffrey Gibson, Alex Katz, and Richard Prince, among others, “What We See, How We See” creates conversations and contextualizes the artist’s vision of how they see and interpret the world.

As part of the exhibition, the museum is proud to feature 49 of 64 works by Saul Steinberg, many of which have never been seen before, recently gifted to the Parrish by The Saul Steinberg Foundation.

Individual thematic galleries feature the contrasting approaches of Prince, Dorothea Rockburne, and David Salle, among others. “The Artist’s Hand: Circles, Squares, and Squiggles” explores abstract gestures through works by Jennifer Bartlett, Willem de Kooning, and Jack Youngerman. In “Contemporary Portraits’ Split Reference,” Chuck Close and Till Freiwald reveal their subjects in larger than life depictions; “The Eye and the Camera” presents new acquisitions of paintings by Photorealist artists; and “American Views: Artists at Home and Abroad” highlights 19th-century landscape paintings from the Parrish’s holdings. Two galleries bring to light bodies of work by single artists, from the tragic-comic world view of Steinberg to the joyful graphic imagery of Tom Slaughter.

“Each gallery presents a focused element of the important dialogue about how information and emotion is conveyed through art,” noted museum director Terrie Sultan. “What we see — and how we see and process visual information — is an important topic right now, and it is gratifying to have the opportunity to explore this through the eyes of such creative people.”

“What We See, How We See” runs through April 2021 at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. For details visit

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