While the Hamptons carries a solid reputation for sun, sand, and
style, this week—thanks to international modern and contemporary fair Art
Southampton—the destination becomes ever more desirable. Among the fair’s 75
exhibitors is Florida-based gallery Baker Sponder, which brings with it an
eclectic melange of works dating from the ’80s to the present, from mixed media
paintings to abstract sculpture. We present a taste of their offerings, homing
in on works from two particular artists that capture the delightful tone of
Inspired to become an artist after seeing the works of Jackson
made his mark with a spray paint gun. Born in Nebraska, schooled
in Missouri, and drawn to New York in the mid-1960s, Christiansen spent his
formative years alongside pioneers of the New York School, and named Pollock
and Color Field painters among his major inspirations. Christiansen caught the
attention of esteemed art critic Clement Greenberg, who said
“Christensen is one of the painters on whom the course of American art
depends.” At Art Southampton, the gallery shows two prime works from the mid
’90s, created with his classic spray gun technique, which are composed of
layers of color with bold ethereal spots rendered in bright complementary hues.
The tranquil Mercer Street
(1995) is a striking contrast to the riotous Untitled 396M4
(1996), though together they represent the artist’s unique practice, range, and
keen use of color.
Amusing and rather fitting additions to the booth are Tim Bessell
edition surfboards. A top creator in the surfboard design field, Bessel grew up
surfing in La Jolla, California, and recalls, as a 10-year-old, the time that Andy Warhol
town and purchased boards. Decades later, in 2013, he worked with the Warhol
Foundation to translate some of the artist’s iconic motifs onto his boards,
forming the first in an artist-focused series. Although it’s hard to imagine
Warhol hanging ten on a surfboard, his works are a natural fit, translating
seamlessly to the glossy forms—the Pop master would likely approve.
From post-painterly abstractions to Warholian wares, Sponder’s
booth is an indicator of the span and spirit that Art Southampton has in store.