Overcoming years of planning and fund-raising hurdles, and despite recent storm-related issues, including a loss of power, that forced cancellation of its preview events, the new Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will open its doors to the public on Saturday.
The 34,400-square-foot building, designed by the Swiss architectural firm of Herzog and de Meuron, will have three times the exhibition space of its Southampton Village building, and the museum plans to make the most of it with several permanent collection rooms and a special exhibition of “Malcolm Morley: Painting, Paper, Process,” which examines the career of the Brookhaven artist with more than 40 works.
The remaining 7,600 square feet of exhibition space will display several shows of work from the museum’s permanent collection of some 2,600 objects in seven skylighted galleries.
“Selected Recent Acquisitions: Building a Collection” will include works by Louise Nevelson, Dorothea Rockburne, and Keith Sonnier that were never previously displayed by the museum. “Look and Look Again: Contemporary Observation” will include works by Ross Bleckner, Chuck Close, April Gornik, Mary Heilmann, and Donald Sultan. “American Views: Artists at Home and Abroad” will feature works from the 19th through 21st centuries demonstrating the tradition of American landscape painting, including those by Childe Hassam, Jane Freilicher, and Jane Wilson. “Collective Conversations” will put together works of Abstract Expressionism, Figuration, and Pop by Willem de Kooning, Dan Flavin, and Alfonso Ossorio, among others, to illustrate the less obvious connections between them.
There will also be three galleries focusing on individual artists: William Merritt Chase, Fairfield Porter, and Esteban Vicente.
The Morley exhibition will explore how paper has functioned in the artist’s 40-year career — as the support for watercolor paint, scale models made of paper and attached to the canvas, or freestanding paper sculpture, to name a few examples. It was organized by Alicia G. Longwell, the museum’s chief curator of art and education. It will remain on view through January.
The museum’s new Platform series, organized by Andrea Grover, the Parrish’s curator of programs, will take its cues from artists as they plot programming within the building and grounds. Hope Sandrow from Southampton will be the inaugural artist. She will respond to the new building with “Genius Loci (the prevailing spirit of a place).” To celebrate the new building, she will place temporary installations integrating ritual objects and ceremonies that mark a beginning or rite of passage and art, putting together many cultures that have played a role in the history of the East End.
The opening weekend will feature three performances in the Lichtenstein Theater. Tomorrow at 6 p.m., the Joshua Light Show, known for its groundbreaking liquid light shows, will perform to its own music. Tickets are $15 and $10 for members. “Watercolors,” a musical tribute to the painter Charles Burchfield by Nell Shaw Cohen (see related article), will be presented on Saturday at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., free to the public. Gray, an experimental acoustic-electronic music band founded in 1979 by the artists Michael Holman and Jean-Michel Basquiat and re-formed in 2010, will play on Saturday at 6 p.m. “A False Sense of Darkness” is a surreal tribute to the silent-film era and will be performed to a film made for this event. Tickets are $15 and $10 for members.
The annual Fall Family Festival will take place Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Bubblemania, a program loaded with comedy, big band swing music, and the bubbles of the title will begin the afternoon’s offerings, which also include art activities, face painting, and other fun and creative diversions. The festival is free and will take place rain or shine with no advance registration required.
Admission will be free on Saturday and throughout the holiday weekend, ending on Monday, which is Veterans Day. The museum will open at 11 a.m. all three days. On Saturday, a member’s preview will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. This will take the place of the special preview events canceled last weekend because of the storm and its aftermath.