VIDEO: JOSH GEYER
One sweltering afternoon last month, artists gathered from far and wide to host the latest edition of the Beach Painting Club at Sammy’s Beach, a local gem in East Hampton, New York, that artists Elaine and Willem de Kooning used to frequent for walks and swimming.
Initiated by Scott and Tyson Reeder (who continue to organize the event to this day), the club began in 2012, when a small group of painters—including Laura Owens, Joe Bradley, and Jess Fuller—decided they wanted to get away from their studios and computer screens and to head to the beach, to see how some wind, water, sand, and sun might mess up their work a bit.
The project has had many iterations since, including a version in Rockaway Beach, New York, which was co-presented by White Columns, its director Matthew Higgs, and the New Art Dealers Alliance, with the works made that day being offered for sale at Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York to support Hurricane Sandy relief.
This summer’s version, which was sponsored by ARTnews, included artists Sam Moyer, Eddie Martinez, Bill Saylor, and Melissa Brown, and ended with a viewing and cocktail party at the Elaine de Kooning house, which is just down the street from Sammy’s Beach. “There were artists painting out at sea in an inflatable dingy, cocktails, and sand-encrusted masterpieces everywhere,” artist Tyson Reeder, Beach Painting Club co-founder, said.
At the cocktail party, artist Mary Heilmann toasted Elysia Borowy-Reeder, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the Hamptons–based couple artist Joe Zucker and designer Britta Leva chatted with Watermill Center director Claude Grunitzky about the East End art scene. Throughout the Elaine de Kooning house, an exhibition curated by Phillip March Jones and Maia Ferrari of Insitute 193 was on view, featuring works by Jessie Dunahoo, Robert Beatty, Mike Goodlett, Lonnie Holley, Shara Hughes, Guy Mendes, Adam O’Neal, Aaron Skolnick, Lina Tharsing, and Mare Vaccaro.