EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. — “My studio out here isn’t quite as set up for photography as my place in the city,” the artist Cindy Sherman said before the 90th-anniversary gala for Guild Hall. The multidisciplinary arts institution in East Hampton is where a newbie painter named Jackson Pollock once showed his radical drip paintings, and where nearly 60 years later Beyoncé filmed scenes for “Black Is King.”
Ms. Sherman was referring to her compound in nearby Springs, where she has been living since the onset of the pandemic and where she has been focusing on her pottery wheel, rather than the manipulated self-portraits that made her one of the more significant artists of a generation.
“I’m kind of a folk artist now,” she said.
As with much else during these strange days, the Guild Hall wingding had been set back by a year. Lockdown closed the place just as “A History of the Present,” a 2020 exhibition by the artist Robert Longo, was about to open.
Nimbly (and with a generosity for which the artist community tends to get too little credit), Mr. Longo redirected his energy to organizing “All for the Hall,” a benefit sale of works by celebrated friends. The sale “raised a half-million dollars that carried us through this horrible time,” said Andrea Grover, the executive director of Guild Hall.
Daily news updates suggesting that the terrible times are far from over threatened to put a damper on the anniversary gala. Even so, the Hamptons gratin were not to be deterred.
Masked guests, who followed the party’s graphic black, white and red dress code, whipped through an exhibition of Mr. Longo’s monumental
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