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SCULPTURE RETURNS TO BRIDGE GARDENS - Group sculpture exhibition 'Uncommon Ground II' is on display at Peconic Land Trust site in Bridgehampton

Bridge Gardens launched its second outdoor sculpture show as the property opened this month for the season. The exhibition, "Uncommon Ground II," features 18 sculptures made by 11 artists. Most live in New York City and beyond. Pieces were selected to harmonize with the cultivated gardens and grounds.

An Evening of Music will be held July 8 at 6 p.m. and an opening reception is planned for July 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.; many of the artists are expected to attend.

"Uncommon Ground II" is presented by C Fine Art and the Peconic Land Trust, which owns Bridge Gardens. Harry Neyens and Jim Kilpatric, who founded and cultivated the grounds for 20 years, donated the gardens and topiary in Bridgehampton to Peconic Land Trust in 2008.

Last year, C Fine Art and Peconic Land Trust teamed up to present the first outdoor sculpture show at Bridge Gardens. This year’s exhibition presents artworks tightly connected to natural locations, resulting in a sublime experiences for visitors, said Cheryl Sokolow of C Fine Art.

“This is our second year, so we had a better idea of what would work well with the grounds,” Sokolow said. “Art was selected with the site in mind and some artists made work specifically for the show.”

Returning artists are Kevin Barrett, John Van Alstine and Isobel Folb Sokolow (1935-2006). New to this year’s show are Alexander Krivosheiw, Caroline Ramersdorfer, Norman Mooney, Herbert Mehler, Zoetrope, Michael Enn Sirvet, Peter Rosenthal and Lila Katzen (1932-1998).

All the artworks were placed to explore the links between the man made and the natural for the viewer, Sokolow said. Placement was also designed to playfully leap between the cultivated gardens and open expanses of lawn.

Some pieces sync intimately with their natural counterpart. “Weeping Phoenix” is draped over a tree branch. “Ascendant III” is suspended from a tree. Michael Enn Sirvet made both works.

Other works, placed in open spaces, are designed to relate to the immediate natural surroundings, Sokolow said.

Kevin Barrett’s sculpture, “Navigator,” was made specifically for the show, he said, with its height designed to rise above the hedges to harmonize with the leafy tree boughs behind them. The title refers to Lord Nelson and his sea battle at Trafalgar, as well as local history surrounding the sea, Barrett said.

Besides creating a dynamic between man made art and nature, "Uncommon Ground II" features sculptures with distinctive voices made by women, Sokolow said, adding a mission of C Fine Art is to give exposure to female sculptors and to artwork that may be under-noticed.

"Uncommon Ground II" was a welcome addition to this year’s season, said garden manager Rick Bogusch. He worked closely with Sokolow to place the art.

“I think the sculpture provides a new and intense perspective for visitors who have visited Bridge Gardens before and for those visiting us for the first time,” he said. “It’s attracting new visitors who are surprised at the beauty of the landscape and the beauty around them.”