William King’s well-known humor and vitality continue to transmit through this latest installation of sculptures placed on the very special East Hampton Town-owned historical property of Duck Creek Farm, site of the late artist John Little’s home and studio.
The visit requires a small journey into the northern regions of East Hampton, close to Gardiner’s Bay, but is well-worth the time and travel. One can certainly make a pleasant afternoon of it and also visit nearby sites of art historic interest like the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center or Ashawagh Hall.
Organized by Jess Frost and the John Little Society, which is an energetic group devoted to making this spot a dynamic cultural destination for the community and beyond, Bill King’s sculpture brings new life to the grounds of Duck Creek Farm and the John Little Barn.
Wonderfully sited in this pastoral landscape with the additional backdrop of the 19th-century barn, each large-scale aluminum sculpture transmits movement through King’s customary lanky mannerism that somehow manages to be graceful and elegant rather than awkward; much like a gangly basketball player whose fast, fluid motions–passing, dribbling, jumping in quick flashes—draw admiration.
As it happens, these sculptures relate to athleticism and competition. There are cyclists riding at what seem vertiginous speeds, angled rakishly on their two wheels, bodies positioned in aerodynamic tension. This tension relates to that in a dual-figure piece depicting a tug-of-war. In another work, the only one with a red-paint finish, two figures seem to be in a grappling hold (or perhaps just a dance).
King as usual distills the figure to its most necessary elements. Similarly, his representation of action—through the angle of a leg, the plane of a foot, the curve of a back, the appearance of a circular versus elliptic wheel—is essentially expressive.
This is a unique opportunity to view the characteristic work of this engaging artist on a historically significant site.