Works on Paper at Prime House: Art from collection of Fischl and Gornik on view

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Cindy Sherman, "Untitled," 1981. Collection of Eric Fischl and April Gornik.

Ahead of its formal opening this fall, The Church, an artist residency, exhibition space and creative center in Sag Harbor, hosts an exhibition of works on paper in the historic Prime House from Friday, September 18, to Sunday, September 27.

The works included in “Tempus Fugit: A Time-limited Exhibition of Collected Works on Paper in the Historic Prime House” are drawn from the personal collection of Eric Fischl and April Gornik, who have been collecting since the 1980s. The over 30 works in the show range from drawings to watercolors and photographs by artists active in the 20th and 21st centuries, including Cindy Sherman, Francesco Clemente, Auguste Rodin, Gustav Klimt, Diane Arbus, Francesca Woodman, Malcolm Morley, Susan Rothenberg and Richard Diebenkorn among many others.

The Prime House, a historic 18th century colonial-era home on Madison Street in Sag Harbor, was recently sold, and during this transition period, the empty structure is the perfect setting for a show of delicate works on paper — a medium that is notoriously sensitive to time and light.

Originally built in 1795, the house is named for Nathaniel Prime who was the pastor of the nearby First Presbyterian Church and served as the manse for the church for many years. This two-story, three-bay structure is typical of the vernacular Federal style architecture that was popular from 1780 to 1820 when the United States was a new nation and searching to establish its own cultural identity. The house has period molding and fireplaces, wood beamed ceilings and 200-year-old floors. It was previously owned by celebrated jazz musician Hal McKusick (1972-2017) and stage and screen actor Hurd Hatfield (1951-1972).

Prime House at Madison and Sage streets, Sag Harbor.

“This is an exceptional moment for the public to enjoy and explore this wonderful old house as well as seeing a remarkable collection of works of art,” said Sara Cochran, executive director of The Church. “A moment to think about time and the future amidst the challenge of this moment.”

The exhibition runs Friday, September 18, to Sunday, September 27, and hours are noon to 5 p.m. Prime House is located at 31 Madison Street in Sag Harbor. To access the exhibition, enter by the garden entrance on Sage Street. Admission is free, masks are required and social distancing will be enforced.

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