Jeff Muhs Presents an Alternative History at ArtHamptons

Artist and furniture designer Jeff Muhs will show a new series of paintings, titled “Another History,” at the annual ArtHamptons fair that opens today and continues throughout the weekend. Muhs’s multidisciplinary work spans a host of mediums. His signature sinuous tables and accompanying ergonomic chairs are made of Baltic birch and modern laminates, even steel and stingray, while his sculptures of found objects (tires, corsets, and garden hoses) are stuck in porous concrete. These recent oil paintings blur their old master foundations in a hazy memory, aligning color-field impressions of dawning reds and orange hues, the likes that have culled artists to the Hamptons, like one husband and wife team Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, for more than two centuries.

Muhs, who graduated from the School of Visual Fine Arts in 1988, cites greater art history as a consistent source of inspiration, dealing directly with the traditions left behind by the Renaissance, from Botticelli to Titian, and the aesthetic impression of ‘50s modernists. It’s this issue of permanence that unifies his varied art practice, the nascent affect of recurring imagery on current art making and the irrefutable concern of the profession to make a continued mark on the world. In fact, Muhs’ backyard installation at his curated Southampton’s outpost carves into the otherwise pristine grassy knoll with monolithic horns inspired by a dream. Its name, “You Would Be Great Under the Stone,” doesn’t escape the root of petrified meaning.

— Frank Exposito