The Art Scene: 10.17.13

Local art news
“Montauk Beach,” a poster from about 1930, will be auctioned tomorrow at Swann Auction Gallery in New York City with an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.

“Urban Reprieves” at Ille Arts
    “Urban Reprieves,” an exhibition of recent paintings by Maggie Tobin, opens Saturday at Ille Arts in Amagansett, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The paintings in the show are the byproducts of an otherwise tedious circumstance — the artist’s daily commute on the B.Q.E.

    Ms. Tobin, who lives in Brooklyn, began to notice empty billboards alongside the expressway and decided, as a reprieve from the frustration of idling in traffic, to repurpose them in paintings of hauntingly empty roads and cityscapes. “The billboards are also a lingering remnant from our recent past,” Ms. Tobin has said. “I’m guessing in 10 years there won’t be any because of the Internet and other innovative ways of advertising. I’ve come to feel almost sentimental about them.”

Get Wild at Richard Demato
    “Into the Wild,” a group show of gallery artists, opens Saturday at the Richard J. Demato Gallery in Sag Harbor, with a reception scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Two of the exhibiting artists, Kevin Muente and Dan VanLandingham, will attend the opening. Also included in the exhibition are Dragin Bibin, Rick Garland, John Jude Palencar, and Wang Xiaobo.

    In Mr. Muente’s recent paintings, the landscape serves as a backdrop for people facing elemental conflicts with nature. People are incidental in Mr. VanLandingham’s landscapes, many of which feature big skies and mere traces of human impact. Vampires populate Mr. Bibin’s work, Mr. Garland depicts empty, decaying factories, Mr. Palencar’s paintings combine meticulous realism with surrealism, and Mr. Xiaobo paints figures at once stylized and mysterious.

Fischl to Speak
    Eric Fischl, artist and, more recently, author, will be the next guest in the Writers Speak series of talks and readings at Stony Brook Southampton. Mr. Fischl, whose memoir, “Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas,” was published last spring, will speak Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

    According to a review in The New York Review of Books, “Given Fischl’s aptitude for telling stories as a painter, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that ‘Bad Boy,’ a memoir that covers his life from his earliest years to the present, is so engaging.” Other writers scheduled are Dwight Garner, Dan Menaker, and Richard Howard.

Gahan Wilson to Haunt Jermain
    “Gahan Wilson: Drawings,” an exhibition of work by the acclaimed cartoonist, who has been called by The New York Times “the master of the macabre,” will open Tuesday at the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor and remain on view through Nov. 31. Mr. Wilson’s drawings of monsters, skeletons, vampires, werewolves, and ordinary people have been published in The New Yorker, Playboy, and National Lampoon, among countless others.

    Though Mr. Wilson has also written stories and published books for children, he is best known for his ghoulish cartoons. The artist has said of the genre, “The basic thing is that it should be funny. . . . If I do a monster which just terrified you, or made you sick or something like that, I’d have blown it. What you have to do is take these horrors and end up being a joke, or it’s not a cartoon.”

    A reception for the artist will take place Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. On Oct. 31, at 7 p.m., Mr. Wilson will be present for a screening of a new documentary, “Born Dead: Still Weird.”

Rare Montauk Travel Poster
    Tomorrow’s auction of rare travel posters at Swann Auction Gallery in New York City will include one touting “Montauk Beach on the slender tip of Long Island, N.Y.” Created by an unknown designer between 1929 and 1932, the poster reflects not only the styles of the Jazz Age but also the vision of Carl Fisher, the entrepreneur who played a key role in the development of Miami Beach in the ’20s.

    Fisher’s last major project was the transformation of Montauk into the Miami Beach of the North. Though the Great Depression wiped Fisher out and prevented the full realization of his plans, many of the components remain, among them Montauk Manor, the Tower at Montauk, and Montauk Downs State Park.