A Sculptural Field of Dreams

Jaume Plensa sculptures "Carlota" (oak), "Julia" (oak), "Laura Asia" (oak), and "Wilsis" (oak), 2019, all cast in bronze. Photo by Tria Giovan.

The Parrish Art Museum is doing something different this summer and recently opened its inaugural sculpture exhibition “Field of Dreams,” which extends the galleries outdoors and animates the museum’s meadow.

“We are thrilled to provide visitors with rich art experiences during these times and meet our community where they are most comfortable — outdoors,” said Chris Siefert, Parrish interim director. “I think people will find inspiration and joy as they wander our grounds and discover these outstanding works of art.”

This show, which opened August 20, features work by 10 multi-generational artists of national and international renown working in a variety of genres. It includes an installation created for the museum by interdisciplinary artist Theaster Gates (American, born 1973), a suite of four new sculptures by Jaume Plensa (Spanish, born 1955); and new works by Parrish collection artist Jim Dine(American, born 1935). Other collection artists include Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-97), Joel Perlman (American, born 1943), and Joel Shapiro (American, born 1941), as well as sculpture by Max Ernst (German, 1891-1976) and Bernar Venet (French, born 1941). Two additional monumental works by Isa Genzken (German, born 1948) and Giuseppe Penone (Italian, born 1947) will be installed in the coming weeks.

“In this inaugural installation of sculpture in the Parrish landscape, each work, while sited within its own sphere, engages in the continuing interplay among the architecture, nature, and art,” said Alicia G. Longwell, Ph.D., the museum’s chief curator. “Newly created paths invite the visitor to wander and experience this extraordinary assembly of the best in contemporary sculpture, inspiring wonder, laughter, and awe.”

“Our meadow has been patiently waiting for this opportunity to become a true extension of the museum, allowing the Parrish to fulfill its responsibility to provide an opportunity to interact with art during the pandemic that is safe, socially distant, and rich with potent and timely meaning,” said Board President Mary E. Frank. “Field of Dreams is a place to conjure the carefree days of summers past or to dream of what the future might hold.”

The outdoor exhibition is presented throughout the 14-acre grounds. Landscape architect Mary Margaret Jones, president of Hargreaves Jones, advised on the creation of three distinct meadow spaces — the Entry Meadow on the north side of the building leading to the museum’s entrance, the Terrace Meadow on the west side and the Great Meadow, a six-acre expanse to the south of the museum facing Montauk Highway.

The Great Meadow, which has been home to Roy Lichtenstein’s “Tokyo Brushstrokes,” on long-term loan from Glenn Fuhrman since 2014, is the site for the majority of works in the exhibition.

“Field of Dreams” is free and open to the public daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Parrish Art Museum is at 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. Museum galleries are open Friday through Monday for timed visits through pre-registration and online ticketing at parrishart.org.