with works by
Dianne Blell
Don Christensen
Kurt Gumaer
Mary Heilmann
Daniel Weiner

seating [ˈsiːtɪŋ] n

1.     the act of providing with a seat or seats
2.     a. the provision of seats, as in a theatre, cinema, etc.
        b. (as modifier) seating arrangements
3.     material used for covering or making seats

Ille Arts is pleased to present Seating Arrangements curated by Mary Heilmann. The exhibition features her paintings and furniture as well as works by Dianne Blell, Don Christensen, Kurt Gumaer and Daniel Wiener.

The idea of the show was Mary’s. In the early spring, soon after I opened my gallery, Mary, Don and I were sitting around thinking of a possible group show when genius struck Mary. In typical Mary fashion, she said she had the perfect idea for a group show called seating arrangements. Don had recently started painting on wood tables and benches and was enthusiastic about the idea of showing his new work.

Kurt Gumaer is Mary’s neighbor in Bridgehampton. He carves wood and creates stools, pedestals and benches out of trees and industrial materials. Kurt is a man’s man. He is the Hamptons’ Paul Bunyon. I like to imagine him chainsaw in hand in the forest working to the sound of Wagner.

A few days ago a friend called and in the midst of the conversation she told me that she had friends over for dinner and she was happy to hear that Daniel Wiener was going to be in the show at Ille. Jaw in hand I hung up wondering who was Mary’s latest addition. Daniel is a sculptor and painter who divides his time between Montauk and Brooklyn. His seemingly organic apoxi compositions are a happy blend of psychedelic and gothic styles.

Thursday morning Mary came to the gallery holding a package with two charming photographs of lady’s chairs by Dianne Blell. Luckily I was able to have them framed in time for the show and now they hang in the gallery adding a feminine note to the arrangements.

And for whatever is worth here is my take on the seating idea:

Seating is worth standing for.

Working hard doing things we sometimes wish to procrastinate doing makes us tired and weary and so we sit. We sit wherever we can, on grass, on the sand at the beach, in our car as we drive, at our desks while at work. We sit to eat our meals, watch television, at the movies, in the subway, and we sit when we can’t stand anymore.

Us two-legged creatures have to sit more frequently than our four legged cousins. Their body is proportionally distributed on four limbs, while we bear all the weight of our lives on two small feet.

Chairs, stools, benches, have always had a functional place in our lives, but it isn’t coincidental that some of the most whimsical furniture ever made was to sit on. What other piece of furniture has arms, legs and a back or is more versatile? Personally I can’t think of any others as remotely multi-tasking as chairs and stools.

Mary Heilmann sits too. Her chairs are famous all over the world and her collectors have been secretely stashing them away in their country homes. From the green patio chair to the webbed club chair, Mary’s chairs are more than functional. They are her chairs. She designs them and has them made in her studio and then she sits on them. They are incredibly comfortable.

All chairs in the exhibit are Mary’s personal chairs. They can be purchased or others can be ordered if desired. The delivery time is about six weeks.

Whether you choose to sit on Pinky by Kurt Gumaer or on the wonderful bench made by Daniel Wiener out of Apoxi, you are doing much more than resting. You are experiencing art in form and function.

Sara De Luca

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