Wainscott, NY – The world is wrought in history; forward, backward, present. It seeps from every crevice, every story passed down from one generation to the next, wars that have come and gone, blemishes that stain or blot our collective memories, and animals that are now extinct. History is more than what is written in a textbook, it is a wrinkle on aging skin, a worn piece of clothing, a loose strand of hair. American History as an exhibition seeks to look at the concept of history as less static than words on a page or accounts deemed important by someone else. The show seeks to shine a light on a group of selected artists who have already carved a notch in the tree of life with their respective practices over many years. Each one is already a piece of American history.
In the search for, or rebuttal of, important historical references, the gallery seeks to reformulate history through a contemporary lens. Since its founding in 2009, Tripoli Patterson has watched and supported local artists who have indelibly left a mark on the art world. While some have worked hard to shine brightly and are only just getting the attention they deserve, others moved through the currents of resistance and have been glowing for years. If history is unending, a candle with an endless supply of wax, does this mean it can be interjected upon? Can we mold that wax when it is still warm to the touch? After a prompt by artist Mary Heilmann, the gallery decided to delve deeper through an exhibition that continues to re-examine the narrative of the East End art community which plays such a large role in art history. The strength of the action is that these notations of time are meant to be remembered.
Artist Sally Egbert said, “The world is in such an especially crazy, history-making time.” Continuing she stated, “This exhibit shines a strong and compassionate light on the state of things, opening the door for change and a beautiful, powerful way to view the world.”
If we can assemble artists who are carving their names deeply in the sand, there is a chance that even if the tide comes in…nothing will be washed away.
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