With the London sales wrapped up—and with results better than expected, given the effect of Brexit on the British markets—Sotheby’s is heading out east for the summer. S|2, the auction house’s gallery component that has routinely hosted themed exhibitions in its space within Sotheby’s headquarters at 1334 York Avenue, is staging a show in Montauk, at the Surf Lodge, a hotel and often rowdy party spot.
The show, which opens July 21, is called “Fish People,” an exhibition of work by the Estate of Joel Mesler, which is the official name of work made by Joel Mesler. (His career as an artist is “dead,” hence “The Estate of.” He’s a co-owner of the Feuer/Mesler gallery on the Lower East Side and also a former columnist for ARTnews.)
“On view will be a selection of ten paintings by the artist-dealer, each of which responds to the cultural history of the sea, New York City’s annual migration to Long Island resort towns, and vacation-induced identity shifts,” reads a press release. “With his trademark wit and idiosyncratic figurative style, Mesler presents a body of work that is both as vacant and generous as a long weekend by the sea.”
“Fish People” is being presented by S|2 and Cultural Counsel, the somewhat vertically integrated PR firm that showed the Estate of Joel Mesler at a booth at the NADA art fair last May, selling sheet-sized works on paper that poked fun at all this art-world nonsense. S|2 has done some pretty out-there stuff in the past—shows curated by the rapper Drake and the producer Swizz Beatz come to mind—but they’ve never made the trek out to the Hamptons, where, of course, many Sotheby’s clients have summer homes.
The release says that these new works will be a little less bleak than the ones at NADA, as would befit a show by the beach. At least sort of.
“These new paintings are more serene, though they do not totally leave behind the angst of the city,” the release says.