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Hiroyuki Hamada in his East Hampton studio.

Habitat: The Idyllic Existence of Art on Long Island’s East End

By Katherine McMahon | Summer 2018

 

The East End of New York’s Long Island has been a locus of artistic activity for decades. Abstract Expressionism is deeply rooted in local lore around the likes of Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and Willem de Kooning. Pop art’s presence can be found among the remnants of time spent “out east” by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. And contemporary art continues to be made and appreciated in an area revered for its gorgeous light raking over pastoral farmland and serene seaside vistas. Summer brings the seasonal residents—and events like the Upstairs Art Fair, the 25th Annual Watermill Center Benefit, and the Midsummer Party at the Parrish Museum of Art, all in July. As the weather started to warm, ARTnews paid a visit to the Hamptons and nearby climes to meet longtime residents of the art scene—and some newer ones.

Hiroyuki Hamada

Hiroyuki Hamada, a recent Guggenheim Fellowship recipient (for having demonstrated “exceptional creative ability in the arts”), moved to East Hampton from New Jersey in 1998. Tucked away in the hamlet of Springs, he built a spacious studio on his property. “Everything’s very expensive, and it can be isolating,” he said. “The division between classes is more prominent here than in New York City, which always evokes a mixed feeling.” Despite the discrepancy, Hamada counts his ample space—which includes a greenhouse for gardening—and access to beautiful beaches among his favorite aspects of calling the East End home.

 

McMahon, Katherine. “The East End,” ArtNews, Summer 2018, Vol. 117, No. 2. Page 30.