Two photography exhibitions at the Parrish Art Museum will open to the public on Sunday, following special previews and talks on Saturday. The shows are “Liminal Ground: Adam Bartos Long Island Photographs, 2009-2011” and “The Landmarks of New York,” which was organized by Barbaralee Diamondstein-Spielvogel.
Mr. Bartos will exhibit 16 large-format inkjet prints that transform ordinary sites and sights into something else entirely. His career has been devoted to visually ennobling the common detritus of human life, whether it is a crumbling building, an out-of-date car, or the land-bound flotsam of the typical weekend yard sale. Even his pictures of Paris are well-composed moments of urban banality.
His Long Island landscapes focus on ruins, abandoned businesses, or ramshackle houses. They look dated and have an archaeological patina about them that imparts a sense of futility, dashed hope, and deprivation. Still, they have their own beauty, coaxed out from the accretion of details that make up the whole.
“Much of my work involves . . . some aspect of 20th-century utopianism,” the artist said in a statement. A native New Yorker, Mr. Bartos grew up spending weekends and summers in Huntington and now lives and works in New York City and East Hampton.
Mr. Bartos and Alicia Longwell, the head curator of the museum, will conduct a tour of the exhibition on July 20 as part of the museum’s ongoing series, Fridays @ Noon: The Artist’s Eye. The program is free with museum admission.
“The Landmarks of New York” will feature 90 photographs from the book “The Landmarks of New York: An Illustrated Record of the City’s Historic Buildings,” published by State University of New York Press/Excelsior Editions.
Dr. Diamondstein-Spielvogel is an author, television interviewer and producer, preservationist, and civic activist who is also a chairwoman of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center and vice chairwoman of the New York State Council on the Arts. She is also a director of the Trust for the National Mall in Washington, D.C., among other similar positions.
At the opening reception on Saturday at 6 p.m., she will moderate a panel of award-winning architects to include Richard Meier, Rafael Vinoly, and Annabelle Selldorf, who will discuss “The Future of the Past.” A series of public programs addressing issues of preservation, development, and community involvement, featuring prize-winning architects, designers, and an editor, will be presented on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. this summer.
The Historic Landmarks Preservation Center raises awareness of the legacy of New York buildings through published works as well as television programs, educational programs, and art exhibitions involving the themes of historic preservation and history.
The exhibition will include images of the Woolworth Building, Rockefeller Center, the Plaza Hotel, the Brooklyn Bridge, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and less familiar sites such as the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, the oldest building in New York State, the Alice Austen House on Staten Island, the former Jamaica Savings Bank in Queens, the Charlie Parker residence at 151 Avenue B, and the Little Red Lighthouse in Fort Washington Park.
“Landmarks of New York” has been touring museums, historical societies, and university galleries throughout New York State since September 2011 and will continue to travel through June 2013, with ancillary exhibits and celebrations showcasing local historic preservation efforts planned in each venue.