RE-MERGE Will Feature A Curated Selection of NFT Artworks
Bridgehampton, July 21, 2021 | Kathryn Markel Fine Arts and HLK Art Group are pleased to present RE-MERGE, an exhibition of recent artworks by ten Contemporary artists based locally and around the world. Curated by HLK Art Group founder Heidi Lee Komaromi, the show spotlights new technologies in art while raising awareness about ocean and ecological conservation.
Installed in the courtyard of the gallery in Bridgehampton and in collaboration with online platform Ultra Art, a curated showcase of twelve newly minted digital NFT (non-fungible token) artworks will be presented. On view August 12 – September 12, 2021, collectors will be able to bid in real-time via their mobile devices. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Guild Hall in recognition of their 90th anniversary as well as the Coral Restoration Foundation and WildAid Marine to support efforts to protect coral reefs around the world. The opening is generously sponsored by Kidd Squid, a Sag Harbor-based artisanal brewing company.
“We are thrilled to present this exhibition that sits squarely at the intersection of art and technology while benefiting an organization like Guild Hall,” states Markel. “NFTs are sweeping the art world and RE-MERGE marks the first of its kind to be presented on the East End.”
Curator Lee Komaromi adds, “By featuring these innovative works of art together, both physical and digital, visitors have an opportunity to reflect on the current state of our environment and futuristic ideals of a post-pandemic society.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
American artist, Nicole Cohen, who specializes in video and installation art, will debut her first NFT artwork, Water Essential. An animated image of water morphs in and out of shapes underpinning the element’s intrinsic importance to human existence. Her video installation piece, FreshWater, depicts liquified movement evocative of rituals of rebirth referencing Bill Viola’s Purification work created for Peter Sellars’ staging of a Wagner opera. The works aptly represent the prevalent themes of re-emergence and revival throughout the show.
Sagaponack-based artist Steve Miller, whose work has been exhibited at the New Museum and the Florence Biennale, experiments across varying modes of multimedia including X-ray images of live endangered animals. In addition to his paintings and skateboards, his latest NFT, Pour Me Another, will be featured which calls attention to his craft as a gentle reminder that “painting is not dead”.
Also featured are two female artists-as-activists whose work draws attention to ocean conservation through their work, in particular coral barrier reefs–the “lungs of our planet”. British mixed media and light artist, Tatyana Murray meticulously etches classical images drawn from nature and the sea into multiple layers of pellucid perspex which are backlit by eco-friendly LED lights. The resulting veil-like image is a delicately floating image of refracted light set neither in time nor space.
The work brings the viewer into the piece oscillating in and out yet evoking complete calm and stillness like a radiant portal to an otherworldly utopia.
Spanish underwater performance photographer, Aldara Ortega literally takes a more submerged approach and dives with her lens to capture perfectly timed, fleeting moments amongst coral reefs in Roatan, Honduras. Together, they present a timely conversation on ecology, climate change, the sublime and spirituality.
The digital artists hail from Canada, Russia, Iran, Hawaii, and the United Kingdom including Christine Davis, Olga Ozerskaya, Firouz Farmanfarmaian, Max Lemaire and Daniel Lismore, respectively. As an added bonus, Dan Simerman’s ZED RUN, a digital horse stable, will be included featuring his renowned and rarified Nakamoto digital horse breed. Select NFT works will be available on the more eco-friendly Ethereum 2.0.
Firouz Farmanfarmaian‘s work is based in cosmogony, the theory of the origin of the universe and his belief that the ecology of the planet is inseparable from humanism. For his inaugural NFT series he started the process by making physical objects which he calls “takeovers”. He uses A3-A4 sketchbooks, acrylic, oil markers, household paint and appropriates found materials such as recycled cardboard, newspapers and magazines some of which are animated into Gifs on his Oculus VR headset. The expressive abstract composition is a meditative work that depicts his trademark layers of archaic semiotic tribal signs.
Collectively, the artists manifest sublime beauty by channeling Mother Nature in an effort to call attention to our changing environment and the ocean’s ecosystems as well as present new ways of making and looking at art through digital modes of experimentation.
While billions of dollars have been traded in NFT art creating a frenzied gold rush in the past few months, there have been few attempts to merge the mechanics of crypto art with the physical art market. The NFT curation aims to help demystify the technology as it relates to contemporary art bringing the spotlight back on the artists themselves. Their work, whether digital or material, is emotional and powerful regardless of the medium they choose. RE-MERGE is sure to take viewers on a visual journey of healing and revivification in a post-pandemic era.
On view at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts,
2418 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY 11932
Thursday – Monday 11am – 5pm
- Panel discussion on NFT Art with local artists and the curator
Express Magazine: NFTs Are Shaking Up Local And Global Art
Photos on Getty Image Archive and PatrickMcMullan.com.
About The Curator
Art advisor and curator, Heidi Lee Komaromi, AAA specializes in Post-War and Contemporary art. After working at VIART, the first corporate art advisory, she founded HLK Art Group in 2001 managing and curating numerous art collections acquiring works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Agnes Martin, and George Condo. She has served as Director at Artnet and was awarded a curatorial grant from Affirmation Arts for Street Smart featuring artists such as Keith Haring and KAWS. Heidi currently lives in Sag Harbor.
About Kathryn Markel Fine Arts
Founded in 1976 by art dealer Kathryn Markel, Markel Fine Arts is located in Chelsea and Bridgehampton, New York. The gallery specializes in paintings and works on paper by mid-career and emerging Contemporary artists including Katie DeGrut, Steven Baris, and Sarah Irvin. The program is committed to showcasing artists renowned for their hard-won craft.
About Ultra Art
Ultra Art is the first online exchange for fine art of all tech mediums with the mission to help artists gain exposure to a global community of tech-minded art collectors. Ultra Art’s debut exhibition launching in Bridgehampton will feature a curated selection of crypto native projects and cutting edge artists (visit www.ultrart.co).
About Guild Hall
Founded in 1930 after a dedication of land and financial gift by Mary Woodhouse, Guild Hall is a multidisciplinary cultural and civic institution based in East Hampton, New York and has become one of the first interdisciplinary centers in the country to combine a museum, a theater and education space in equal measure. Notable exhibitions featuring important American artists including Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner and Robert Motherwell among many others have been showcased over the years. Guild Hall holds a permanent collection of 2,400 works of art and this year marks their landmark 90th anniversary.