From Mary Boone to the Parrish: Mel Kendrick Sculptures Visit the Hamptons

A rendering of Mel Kendrick's jacks at the Parrish Art Museum. Courtesy PAM

It can take years, even decades, for an artwork to move from an artist’s studio to a commercial gallery to a museum, and few pieces ever make that complete trip. However, New York-based artist Mel Kendrick has managed to accomplish that feat in under a year.

Less than three months after four hulking concrete sculptures by Mr. Kendrick first went on view, in an exhibition called “jacks” at the Mary Boone Gallery on 24th Street, they will be shown in a garden outside the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, beginning this Sunday.

Parrish director Terrie Sultan and curator Alicia Longwell saw the works at Boone in the spring. “We both thought they were magnificent pieces,” Ms. Sultan said in a telephone interview. They approached Ms. Boone about showing the works, and she agreed to loan them through the end of the year.

“Mel has a major relationship to the East End of Long Island, having lived out here for a long time,” Ms. Sultan said. The Parrish has often organized shows of artists who have resided in the region, and the installation felt like a natural fit. “It was a very serendipitous thing,” she said.

The 11-foot-tall sculptures, which resemble enormous toy jacks, sit on bases cut with large holes that appear to match the works sitting atop them. “Because they are fenestrated with these holes,” Ms. Sultan said, “it gives a sense of lightness which is completely contradicted by the intensity of the material.”

She added, “They operate in such a different way out in nature as opposed to out in the confines of a white-cube situation.”

From Mary Boone to the Parrish: Mel Kendrick Sculptures Visit the Hamptons