The Woodbine Collection Is Eclectic in Montauk

The Woodbine Collection on Montauk Highway offers a bright and sunny room to view its eclectic works
Luke Schumacher’s steel sculptures look very at home in the gallery space, including this piece in the bay window.

With the ballyhoo of the last of the hot Montauk summer finally past, it is nice to see one remnant left in its wake. The Woodbine Collection on Montauk Highway, across from the I.G.A. grocery store, opened this past season and offers a bright and sunny room to view its eclectic works.

The owners, Colin Brown and Kristy Schopper, who are married, have been living in Springs part time for several years and recently relocated there permanently. Ms. Schopper, who organized a number of art spaces in Long Island City to attract artists and revitalize neighborhoods, left Queens with a long list of creative contacts and quite a number of works of art. She is also an artist herself who studied at the University of Texas at Austin.

Although the two are now showing a number of pieces from their collection, they have mixed in others by some of the artists they have come to know and a few new names who also work out here.

Ms. Schopper’s work can be both abstract and realist, depending on the piece. She paints large and small, with rich color or shades of gray in oil and acrylic. One very wide piece in the space looks primarily blue at first, but the other bright and somber colors immediately pop out in a classic push-and-pull. It could be a stretch of open water or a pond, but the play of light above and whatever is submerged underneath are vibrant and balanced. It’s a pretty piece that also seems considered and planned.

Her portrait of a child’s head is tonal and exhibits deft treatment of light and shadow. The choice to use a subject whose eyes are closed is different and a bit haunting, like a death mask. The room is dotted about with her miniature painted jottings of flags and seascapes, no bigger than a hand, as well as other abstractions, which often seem inspired by nature.

One of her collaborators in Queens, Isabelle H. Radtke, also has work on view. The French artist, who studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, shows a series of delicate bowl-shaped pieces, typically white on their exterior and a rich sky blue in their interior. She forms them out of plaster, lime, and pigments, and might arrange a group of small ones on a curved steel bar, reminiscent of the way mussels cling to bulkheads in the water. In other works, the steel might take center stage, attached to other curved flat pieces to form a wave-like shape that she paints on the top side with the same intense blue.

She makes paintings, too. There is a delicate abstracted depiction of birds lined up on a wire in acrylic on silk paper that is quite beautiful despite the metal frame. Some of her other vessels are treated to look like they might be set in wood for the exterior and have white pigment in the interior. In another, a man’s work glove cradles one of her sculptures in its palm.

Also taking up a lot of real estate in the gallery are the sculptures of Luke Schumacher. Primarily in steel, they take many forms, some completely nonobjective and others somewhat more referential. A piece in the bay window that looks like a mountain range is appealing and looks marvelous with the scrub pine just outside the glass. Other sculptures, such as “Swerve‚” refer to nothing other than a feeling or gesture, one even has some suggestions of figuration. All of them are well crafted and hark back to an earlier Modernism.

The gallery is also showing sea-inspired photography and abstraction by David Sierodzinski. The gallery has no scheduled exhibitions, but changes its inventory regularly. The couple plan to keep it open year round and are currently closed on Tuesdays only.

Kristy Schopper’s paintings range from abstract to realist, from the very small to the very large. Jennifer Landes Photos