“It’s Only Art” (But I Like It)

John Perreault, “It’s Only Art” (detail), at Marquee Projects, Bellport, NY, 6/23/17

To call writer/art critic/poet/artist/curator/pottery expert (and collector)/gardener John Perreault (1937-2015) a Renaissance man is to dramatically understate the case.

“It’s Only Art,” a tribute survey of his paintings and sculpture (with video documentation of a few of his performances), is inaugurating a new gallery, Marquee Projects in Bellport, NY, where Perrault long shared a house with his husband editor/writer/critic Jeff Weinstein. The show, expertly installed by co-curators Mark Van Wagner and Beverly Allan, all but overflows the elegant space and features work made from 1970 to 2015, some of which is being exhibited for the first time.

Many of Perreault’s abstract paintings use nontraditional materials such as “toothpaste, oil-polluted sand and coffee (which the Village Voice praised as ‘exquisite sepia revelations’).” His sculpture wittily employs found objects and movingly uses rocks. “Mended Stones” was recently exhibited at The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City and “was singled out by critic Deborah Solomon as an ‘affecting installation’ about repairing a broken world.” The piece displays “a spirit of hopeful transformation that pervades Perreault’s lifelong work.”

Born in Manhattan, Perreault who “first showed his paintings at Greenwich Village’s One Eleven Gallery in the mid-1960s, has had his work exhibited nationally and internationally. He simultaneously broke ground in the fields of conceptual and performance art.” According to the New York Times, Perreault was “a pivotal figure in organizing the first Day Without Art in 1989 to draw attention to the impact of AIDS on the arts.”

“It’s Only Art” is on view through Sunday, July 16 at Marquee Projects, 14 Bellport Lane,  631-803-2511.

John Perreault, “It’s Only Art” (detail), at Marquee Projects, Bellport, NY, 6/23/17

John Perreault, “It’s Only Art” (detail), at Marquee Projects, Bellport, NY, 6/23/17

John Perreault, “It’s Only Art” (detail) at Marquee Projects, Bellport, NY, 6/23/17

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