The Church Is Here To Prove That Women Artists Are Funny, Too - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 2261990

The Church Is Here To Prove That Women Artists Are Funny, Too

icon 18 Photos
Artist Almond Zigmund in her East Hampton Studio. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Artist Almond Zigmund in her East Hampton Studio. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Artist Almond Zigmund in her East Hampton Studio. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Artist Almond Zigmund in her East Hampton Studio. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Katherine Bernhardt,

Katherine Bernhardt, "Shark Attack," 2022. Acrylic and spray paint on canvas. 96" x 120." Courtesy of the artist and Canada, New York. JOE DENARDO

Patty Chang,

Patty Chang, "Melons (At a Loss),: 1998, 3:47 minute, SD video. COURTESY THE ARTIST

Denise Silva-Dennis,

Denise Silva-Dennis, "Land Back Butter, Wee Tah Moe," 2021. 16" x 20." HOPE SANDROW AND ULF SKOGSBERGH

Guests at the opening of

Guests at the opening of "Are You Joking? Women & Humor,” at The Church. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Guests at the opening of

Guests at the opening of "Are You Joking? Women & Humor,” at The Church. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Katherine Bernhardt's

Katherine Bernhardt's "Shark Attack" installed at The Church. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Artist Christine Sciullli and husband Carter Burwell at the opening of

Artist Christine Sciullli and husband Carter Burwell at the opening of "Are You Joking? Women & Humor” at The Church. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Kelly Darlene Dennis and her mother, artist Denise Silva-Dennis, at the opening of

Kelly Darlene Dennis and her mother, artist Denise Silva-Dennis, at the opening of "Are You Joking? Women & Humor,” at The Church. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Artist Renee Cox speaks with Sheila Batiste and Beth Troy in front of Nina Chanel Abney's

Artist Renee Cox speaks with Sheila Batiste and Beth Troy in front of Nina Chanel Abney's "Bizarre Bazaar" at the opening of "Are You Joking? Women & Humor” at The Church. FRANKIE KADIR VAUGHAN

Three images from Nina Katchadourian's series

Three images from Nina Katchadourian's series "Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style" on view at The Church. ANNETTE HINKLE

Wendy Red Star's

Wendy Red Star's "White Squaw Series" on view at The Church. ANNETTE HINKLE

Claire Watson

Claire Watson "Circumferee" on view at The Church. ANNETTE HINKLE

Claire Watson

Claire Watson "Real and Pretend" on view at The Church. ANNETTE HINKLE

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons "Clothes Make the Man: Take My Wife" and Joyce Pensato's "I must Be Dreamin'" on view at The Church. ANNETTE HINKLE

Heji Shin

Heji Shin "Reclining Nude" on view at The Church. ANNETTE HINKLE

Installation view of

Installation view of "Are You Joking? Women & Humor" at The Church. ANNETTE HINKLE

Frankie Kadir Vaughan on Jun 17, 2024

Opening at The Church in Sag Harbor this past weekend, “Are You Joking? Women & Humor” is an art exhibition that shares with a public audience the quirkiness and comedic relief necessary in today’s times.

Curated by Sara Cochran, the show runs through September 2, and it highlights the work of 40 female artists — some locally recognized and others well-known on the national scale. The work ranges across mediums, including oil on canvas, acrylic and even video works.

Katherine Bernhardt’s 2022 canvas “Shark Attack” is one of the exhibition’s primary pieces. It features a large-scale Pink Panther smoking a cigarette, while a shark appears to attack from above. Bernhardt’s work tends to focus less on the importance of materiality and more on the placement of the subject and its coloring.

“‘Shark Attack’ takes on the traditions of paintings. Ignoring illusion, perspective or scale, [Bernhardt’s] paintings flatten any sense of hierarchy or relationship between its elements,” The Church stated in a release. “A smattering of absurdly raucous images emerges: sharks, half-smoked cigarettes, donuts, a lost Croc and a sad face juxtaposed with a reclining Pink Panther.”

Many museum-goers are accustomed to seeing art displayed formally as a flat and still image, but Patty Chang’s work says otherwise. Chang’s “Melons (At a Loss)” is a three minute and 47 second performance on video featuring Chang de-seeding a cantaloupe from her bra as she shares a story about her experiences being a woman — at her aunt’s funeral, to be exact.

“When she died,” says Chang in her video artwork, “extras were ordered from Thrifty’s Photo Department,” referring to photographic prints of her aunt that were reprinted on cheap plates to be distributed at the funeral. “$10.99 for a saucer, $29.99 for dinner. I was given a saucer, and I was told it was because I was smaller and more petite than everyone else. Not because it was cheaper.”

Chang’s performances tend to work in conjunction with one another, leaving the viewer filled with laughter and sometimes angst. As she uses a spoon to dig out the fruit and seeds from a cantaloupe sitting inside the left cup of her bra, she speaks of her memories: her aunt’s wide smile and her poised facial features, as well as how her next-door neighbor confessed his love to her when they were 10 and 9 years old, respectively.

The work of artist and professor Nina Katchadourian is also included in this exhibition. Working between New York and Berlin, Katchadourian is represented by Catherine Clark Gallery, as well as Pace Gallery, and teaches at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Katchadourian’s work ranges from interviewing her parents on video (she presented these videos at the Venice Biennale where she won the Golden Lion Award for Best National Participation) to creating site-specific sound installations of bird calls which act as car alarms (make sure to check out her work — she’s hilarious).

On view at The Church are three images from Katchadourian’s “Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style” series from her “Seat Assignment” project. The project began spontaneously in 2010 when she challenged herself to be creative on a flight. Using the plane’s tiny bathroom and her camera phone to create an in-flight studio, Katchadourian began taking stylized self-portraits using only items on hand like toilet bowl covers, headrest protectors, toilet paper, travel pillows and other objects to transform herself into a Flemish model. She has continued the series for more than 200 flights.

Alongside these artists, East Hampton’s Almond Zigmund has two works included in this show. During a recent visit to her East Hampton studio, Zigmund shared a bit about her artistic process and journey.

“They’re figurative,” Almond said of her two paintings in “Are You Joking” at The Church. “They have no association with identity. I’m taking the idea of identity out of it, and you know, hopefully creating something that is accessible to anyone and everyone. There is no specificity in terms of all of the things we use to identity ourselves.

“It’s not that I don’t believe in identity, but I don’t believe in the idea of planting a flag and having that be the most important thing about us,” Zigmund continued. “I do love the idea of creating this thing beyond that, that speaks of something that exists, beyond language, beyond recognizable.”

Zigmund’s work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally, including as installations and site-specific works at the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay, New York City’s Department of Transportation, the Parrish Art Museum, The Drawing Room in East Hampton and at Berliner Kunstprojekt Gallery in Berlin. In addition to this exhibition at The Church, Zigmund has work on view in “Fielding Line & Space,” a new group show curated by Heather Marx and Steven Sergiovanni that opened at The Fireplace Project in Springs on June 22.

Zigmund’s work uses color in a less traditional sense and lives to share a humorous story — one the viewer may have to assign themselves. “I work a lot in response to things,” Zigmund explained. “And so part of what I was, and am, responding to is just the circumstances of my life — some of it is in my control and some of it isn’t.”

Zigmund shared the story of how she started to create collage work — it was around the time of Superstorm Sandy in the fall of 2012 and she was home with her daughter in East Hampton.

“We just did a whole bunch of collages,” Zigmund said in her studio. “And all of a sudden, I realized I wasn’t being able to get in [the studio] as much as I wanted. Collage was this way to be able to come in for a short amount of time, maybe an hour, maybe two hours, and make maybe four pieces and feel like, ‘Oh, I’ve done work.’ It was just much more immediate, and it didn’t need that much of my brain.”

Another important factor within Zigmund’s practice, and within the higher education system in fine arts, is the difference between the East Coast and the West Coast.

“I got my MFA in Las Vegas,” Zigmund said while finding a book on the shelf near the entrance of her studio. “Being in Las Vegas is kind of exactly where I needed to be — unlike New York at the time, especially in the early ’90s, there was this great sort of permissiveness to make objects, to paint with color, to use pattern, to make art with all of these sensual things. Whereas in New York, at that time, it was really focused on a very heavy research based identity politics and mining your own trauma to make art. I wasn’t interested in that — that’s not what I wanted to do.”

Though pedagogies and artistic styles differ from each coast, the work on view at The Church is the perfect conglomerate of both, and is brought together through humor and a sense of belonging through the works and artists alike.

“Are You Joking? Women & Humor” opening reception is Saturday, June 22, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The show will be on view through September 2. Participating artists are: Nina Chanel Abney, Eleanor Antin, Monica Banks, Lynda Benglis, Katherine Bernhardt, Deborah Buck, Patty Chang, Sonya Clark, Renee Cox, Pipi Deer, Abigail DeVille, Madeline Donahue, Rosalyn Drexler, Martha Edelheit, Nicole Eisenman, Saskia Friedrich, Pippa Garner, Shadi Ghadirian, Carly Haffner, K8 Hardy, Judith Hudson, Nina Katchadourian, Caitlin Keogh, Louise Lawler, Judith Linhares, Olivia Locher, Sarah Lucas, Tala Madani, Gladys Nilsson, Joyce Pensato, Wendy Red Star, Pipilotti Rist, Cara Romero, Bastienne Schmidt, Dana Schutz, Cindy Sherman, Heji Shin, Denise Silva-Dennis, Laurie Simmons, Alexis Smith, Tammi Smith, Mickalene Thomas, Claire Watson, Lisa Yuskavage and Almond Zigmund.

The Church is at 48 Madison Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit thechurchsagharbor.org.

Frankie Kadir Vaughan is a graduate student at SUNY Purchase, and has a toy poodle named Ruby.

Upcoming Events for “Are You Joking?

Women & Humor”

Friday, July 19, 6 p.m. — Curator Sara Cochran guides guests on a curatorial tour of the exhibition in an After Hours presentation followed by a Q&A. Tickets $20 ($10 members).

Sunday, July 21, at 10:30 a.m. — Artist Claire Watson presents an Insight Sunday program and discusses select works from her “With Kid Gloves” series followed by a Q&A. Tickets $10 (members free).

Saturday, August 10, at 3 p.m. — “What’s So Funny?” a panel discussion with film writer/director Kestrin Pantera, stand-up comedian Nancy Parker and writer and producer Caroline Waxler with moderator Abby Russell followed by a Q&A. Tickets $15 ($10 members).

Tuesday, August 13, and Thursday, August 15, 10 a.m. – “Writing From Art: Poetry, Prose, and the Lyric Essay” a two-session literary workshop led by poet and scholar Star Black. Inspired by works in the exhibition, participants will generate a series of creative texts. The sessions will conclude with a group reading. Tickets $30 for both sessions.

Sunday, August 18, at 10:30 a.m. — Artist Denise Silva-Dennis presents an Insight Sunday program and discusses her painting “Land Back Butter” followed by a Q&A. Tickets $10 (members free).

You May Also Like:

Prokofiev’s 'Peter and the Wolf' In Sag Harbor

The Sag Harbor Community Band will perform Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” on Tuesday, ... 23 Jul 2024 by Staff Writer

Bedside Reading on the East End

This weekend, Bedside Reading, the hotel amenity that places a wide variety of complimentary books ... by Staff Writer

‘Stirring the Pot’ With Florence Fabricant and Friends

Guild Hall’s popular series of Sunday culinary conversations, “Stirring the Pot,” return this summer to ... 22 Jul 2024 by Staff Writer

Broadway's Melissa Errico Performs at SAC

Southampton Arts Center will present a special concert — “Melissa Errico Sings the Summer” on ... by Staff Writer

Costantino Nivola's Works Come to The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room will host an exhibition of works by Costantino Nivola (1911-1988) from July ... by Staff Writer

‘Couples Squared’ Opens at Southampton Arts Center

Southampton Arts Center’s “Couples Squared,” an exhibition curated by Phyllis Tuchman, opens with a reception ... by Staff Writer

Jazz, Hip-Hop and R&B Luminary Robert Glasper Takes the Guild Hall Stage

Guild Hall will host Grammy Award-winning pianist Robert Glasper on Monday, July 29, at 7 ... by Staff Writer

Six Artists in the Garden at The Leiber Collection

The Leiber Collection will present “Six Artists in the Garden” on Saturday, July 27, at ... by Staff Writer

World Premiere of Michael Stephen Brown’s ‘The Lotos-Eaters’ Comes to BCMF

Pianist and composer Michael Stephen Brown will present the world premiere of his own composition “The Lotos-Eaters” for flute, cello, piano and percussion at the 41st season of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. The concert will take place on Thursday, August 1, at 6 p.m. at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. This piece is commissioned by the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. Besides the world premiere work, Brown will also perform Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, K. 493. Entitled “Mozart Reflections,” the program will also include Mozart’s Quartet in A major, K. 298 as well as “And Legions Will Rise.” “I was ... by Staff Writer

See Saturday Night Live Cast Member Punkie Johnson at LTV Studios

LTV Studio’s will host a night of stand-up comedy with Saturday Night Live cast member Punkie Johnson on Friday, August 2, at 8 p.m. Johnson is a comedian and writer from New Orleans, Louisiana, who joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2020. She also appeared on season 2 of HBO Max’s critically acclaimed series “Love Life,” where her performance was hailed by Time magazine as a “particular standout.” Past credits include “Space Force” (Netflix), “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO), and “Bill Burr Presents: The Ringers” (Comedy Central). Johnson also served as a writer/consultant on Peacock’s upcoming series ... by Staff Writer