Artist talks are interesting, but an opportunity to hear from an artist in their own studio, even more so. Today’s East End Studio Tour in Bridgehampton, New York, hosted by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) was not only informative, but fascinating. We visited the studios of 3 prominent artists who work in the East End of Long Island: John Torreano, Eric Freeman and Steve Miller, led by Corrine Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects at Parrish Art Museum.
Our first stop was the studio of John Torreano, where we heard from him about his background and ideas behind his work, as he shared with us his painting, columns and glasswork. He combines wood constructions, paint and small colored gems to make “cosmologies”. It was interesting to hear about his ideas about the universe and explore perspectives of it, and to see the way he incorporates materials to create his pieces, both two and three dimensional.
The second stop was the studio of Eric Freeman. His monumental, luminescent color field paintings are created with a combination of waxes, oil and turpentine, resulting in a glowing color blend and a surface that subtly reflects different shades, depending on how the light hits the painting. We were able to see him demonstrate, applying a layer of color to an in-process work, to see how the medium goes on one color, and dries with a very different look. It reminded me of a textile, due to the direction of the brush strokes – almost like shantung silk. Quite beautiful.
Our third and final stop on the tour was the studio of Steve Miller. He uses different kinds of imagery, as well as a variety of processes and surfaces, from silkscreens on paper to paintings, to applying/incorporating images onto books, surfboards, skateboards and apparel. In his work, he explores the way art, design, and scientific technology intersect, the current state of the natural environment, and our planet. Learning from him about the origins of the imagery, combined with their juxtaposition and the message behind his work – as well as extended audiences he aims to reach – was a valuable experience.
Previous participating artists in this NYFA Studio Tour include: Alice Aycock, Mary Ellen Barkley, Ross Bleckner, Quentin Curry, Sally Egbert, Audrey Flack, Mia Fonssagrive-Solow, Connie Fox, Christopher French, April Gornik, Hiroyuki Hamada, Mary Heilmann, Bryan Hunt, Donald Lipski, Joel Perlman, Toni Ross, Joan Semmel, Arlene Slavin, Mike Solomon, Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas, Claire Watson, Nina Yankowitz & Barry Holden, and Joe Zucker.
For more information about the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), its mission, programs and events: nyfa.org