The Southampton Arts Center, in partnership with the New York Academy of Art, will present “Water/Bodies,” an exhibition organized by Eric Fischl and David Kratz, the academy’s president, from tomorrow through July 31. A reception will be held on July 2 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The show will feature 67 paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures that engage the themes of bodies of water, such as pools, beaches, and the ocean, and bodies in water, including sunbathers, fisherman, and surfers. The exhibition includes both academy graduates and artists with longtime East End connections, among them Ross Bleckner, Ralph Gibson, April Gornik, Michael Halsband, Jill Musnicki, and David Salle.
Mr. Kratz, a longtime Southampton resident and friend of Simone Levinson, one of the center’s founders, said, “From the beginning, we had been talking about ways the academy and the center could collaborate. We decided to do an exhibition around the subject of water, which has always been an integral part of the arts on the East End. Because the academy focuses on figurative art, students spend a lot of time learning how to draw the body from observation and imagination. So linking the themes of water and bodies emerged naturally.”
Mr. Fischl is a senior critic and board member at the academy. “Eric is a real inspiration to everyone at the school. I asked him to work with me on the show because he has such deep ties to the art community on the East End and is so respected. Everybody he asked agreed to be in the exhibition, and we got a lot of amazing pieces.”
The academy will also mount a special exhibition at Art Southampton, which will take place from July 7 through July 11 at Nova’s Ark Project in Bridgehampton. The exhibition, “Call of the Wild,” will include works by academy alumni on the theme of the animal kingdom, selected by Mr. Kratz and Brooke Shields.
“Brooke lives around the corner from me in Southampton,” Mr. Kratz said, “and has been coming to our events and supporting the artists for a long time. She is now a board member and an amazing ambassador for the school. I asked her to organize the show with me because she has a great eye. I had noticed over the past few years that she and I often gravitated to the same works at academy shows, even to the point of competing to buy them.”
Founded in 1982 by artists, scholars, and patrons, among them Andy Warhol, the academy is a graduate school located in TriBeCa that combines intensive technical training in the fine arts with active critical discourse. Its students are encouraged to use traditional methods and techniques to make contemporary art. Mr. Kratz, a painter and academy graduate, was named the institution’s president in 2009.