Organic Abstraction at SAC - 27 East

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Organic Abstraction at SAC

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Kevin Barrett's sculpture,

Kevin Barrett's sculpture, "Embrace." COURTESY C FINE ART

"Intersections Garden #12" by Arlene Slavin. COURTESY C FINE ART

"Circus" by Carole Eisner. COURTESY C FINE ART

"Column with 7 Crescents" by Carol Ross. COURTESY C FINE ART

“Quintessence #3

“Quintessence #3" by Hans Van de Bovenkamp. COURTESY C FINE ART

"Copernicus’ Midnight Sun" by Isobel Folb Sokolow. COURTESY C FINE ART

"Round East" by Joel Perlman. COURTESY C FINE ART

"Sisyphean Circle 8-14-17" by John Van Alstine. COURTESY C FINE ART

Norman Mooney,

Norman Mooney, "Bloom No. 4, 2022. Mirror-polished stainless steel, concrete base, 72" x 48" x 48." COURTESY C FINE ART

"Column with 7 Crescents" by Carol Ross. COURTESY C FINE ART

"Round East" by Joel Perlman. COURTESY C FINE ART

authorStaff Writer on Apr 15, 2024

The Southampton Arts Center is partnering with curator Cheryl Sokolow to bring contemporary outdoor sculpture to the grounds of SAC throughout the summer. The exhibition, titled “Organic Abstraction: Contemporary Outdoor Sculpture,” explores the materials, processes and techniques of nine internationally recognized, museum-collected sculptors working within a formalist paradigm.

The show will be installed at SAC on April 25 and will remain on view throughout the summer season. Participating artists include: Joel Perlman, Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Kevin Barrett, John Van Alstine, Norman Mooney, Arlene Slavin, Carole Eisner, Carol Ross and Isobel Folb Sokolow.

“We are truly delighted to be able to collaborate with Cheryl to bring world-class sculptures to the grounds of the Southampton Arts Center for all our community and visitors to come and enjoy,” said Christina Mossaides Strassfield, executive director of Southampton Arts Center.

With an emphasis on syntax and form rather than subject matter, the handling of material and the artists’ processes become the subject of the work; each piece is most immediately identified and appreciated by its most basic physical attributes.

Artwork that is seemingly void of narrative (or abstract) has historically been celebrated as the purest form of art, as noted by critics such as Clement Greenberg and others. Material, shape, form, composition and surface engender an unadulterated or "pure" aesthetic experience. Within this idiom, notions of nature connect and inspire each work by virtue of material, form or concept.

The relationship with transitory nature is seen in the sculptures of Norman Mooney and Arlene Slavin. Mooney’s “Bloom No. 4” captures the intricacies of form, pattern and the sequences found in nature; its exquisite, highly-polished surface provides a mirror into the natural surroundings. Slavin’s translucent and vividly colored "Intersections" are juxtaposed to capture the light of the sun with an ever changing saturation of color creating a reflective third dimension.

Folb Sokolow’s "Copernicus’ Midnight Sun" references the natural phenomena of the Big Bang Theory, which her process powerfully mimics as fire-welded forms explode into being. Barrett’s "Embrace" fuses organic shapes and rhythms rooted in both the human form and landscape with impeccable grace and welding technique. Van Alstine’s "Sisyphean Circle" unites industrial metal objects with natural river stone, marrying the two literally and metaphorically. Nature’s heavy stone is suspended and appears weightless at the helm of his clever and skillful assemblage process.

These concepts are underscored by the natural essence of outdoor atmosphere where the synergy between nature, art, and spectator is both continuous and evolving; time of day, scale, perspective, light, color of the sky, movement of clouds, and the artworks’ proximity to trees and to each other are all vital to the viewers’ sense of place, space, and discovery.

Curator Cheryl Sokolow has over 20 years of art world experience with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in art history. She launched C Fine Art in 2009 to showcase established artists with a focus on formal abstraction in contemporary sculpture and dimensional art. She was the founder and curator of the “Uncommon Ground Sculpture Series” hosted by the Bridge Gardens for six seasons.

“Our appreciation for excellence in craftsmanship, and insistence on originality leads us to artists who masterfully fabricate their work, reaching far beyond the boundaries of their chosen materials,” Sokolow stated. "We are thrilled to collaborate with SAC making large scale, outdoor sculpture accessible to the community.”

Southampton Arts Center is at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. Visit for details.

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