Following the passing of her late husband, acclaimed artist Shimon Okshteyn, who was taken by the Covid-19 pandemic last year, gallerist Tatyana Okshteyn, founder of the Black & White Gallery/Project Space, has reopened her gallery in a new location. It now occupies the converted studio space of her late husband, at 55 Island Creek Road in Southampton, and the new gallery space combines the bi-level barn with paint splattered on the first floor preserving the original marks made by the artist while working there and the sculpture garden surrounding the studio barn with the artist’s sculptures scattered throughout the space.
The first two exhibitions on view through July 5 at the gallery and online are the artist’s first posthumous shows “Shimon Okshteyn: Natural Landscape” and “Shimon Okshteyn: Still-Lifes.”
“Shimon’s creative shifts between genres have always been mysterious to me, especially his last shift from pop culture and nostalgia to poetic interpretation of the natural scenes of the East End of Long Island,” said Tatyana Okshteyn. “The new gallery space, both indoor and outdoor will be a place of peace and perseverance, of creativity infused from nature.”
Shimon Okshteyn: Natural Landscape features 13 new paintings created in 2018 and 2019 installed on the first floor of the gallery where they were originally created by the artist, marking the artist’s return from the world of manmade to the realm of the organic, the perishable and the swiftly passing. Influenced by his life in the Hamptons surrounded by nature, highlights in the exhibition
The top floor of the gallery spotlights “Shimon Okshteyn: Still-Lifes,” showcasing Okshteyn’s signature black and white graphite pieces with still life objects ranging from a bell and a hat to a bustle and a clasp. Highlighted works including “Stanley Knife” from 2002, “Zippo’ from 2007 and “Push Pin” from 2004.
Okshteyn worked in a variety of different formats from drawings and sculptures to mixed media and installations. His works were included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York State Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art and many others.
Black & White Gallery/Project Space is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., but visits must be scheduled in advance. The gallery can also be seen during the week by appointment only. Visit blackandwhiteartgallery.com for details.