Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, Art League of Long Island, 107 East Deer Park Road, Dix Hills, (631) 462-5400. Through Feb. 12.
Among the 10 artists in this invitational show, the unifying factor is what its brochure describes as "the sculptural presentation of materials." Why not just call it sculpture? Because some of it resists such a conventional definition.
Marcia Widenor and Babs Reingold have created installations that are three-dimensional only in the sense of occupying space within the gallery.
In "La Longue Durée," Ms. Reingold's silk organza hangings form a series of translucent surfaces. Like a theater scrim, they hide what is behind them until they are backlighted with a series of bulbs that switch on and off intermittently. This peep-show effect, and the cloudy patterning of the silk, give the ensemble a mysterious aura.
Ms. Widenor's "Marking Space" is also a group of hangings, but her elements are linear rather than flat. She has wrapped wood dowels with linen thread and suspended them from the ceiling, so viewers may walk around and into the area they define. To me, the result is a kind of spatial drawing using an infinitely variable configuration of marks. It also has a sinister overtone, suggesting a dark rain, burdened with soot, streaking downward.
"Necessity," a mural installation by Elizabeth Knowles, migrates from the wall and onto the floor. Extending outward from a nest-shaped central node, branches wrapped in wire dissipate into tendrils that ultimately fragment, like offshoots of kudzu out to colonize the landscape. As its title implies, John Fink's ceramic plaque "Drawn to the Center" focuses its energy in the opposite direction, using snaky shapes, floating figures and swirling fragments to symbolize centripetal force.
Caroline Burton's untitled pieces are more traditionally sculptural, but she has modified cushion-shaped objects into a parody of softness and comfort. Wired, stitched and stuffed with plaster, these Frankenpillows promise the antithesis of a good night's sleep. David Fratkin, on the other hand, only implies a third dimension. In his hybrid acrylic canvases, made of successive layers of painted and printed patterns, sinuous shapes play hide-and-seek with heavily textured backgrounds.
Solar Gallery, 44 Davids Lane, East Hampton, (631) 907-8422. Through Feb. 12.
Most of the 15 artists in this group show are using strategies similar to those featured in "Dimension." Here, however, the focus is on fiber. The threads in question may be organic, plastic or metal. They are stitched, woven, draped, knotted, wrapped -- and even animated in Richard Garet's "Scroll," a hypnotic video of a spool of string being continuously unwound. The low, raspy sound of the spool's rotation enhances the mesmerizing effect.
Angel Marcano and Luis Roldan use fiber with great delicacy. Mr. Marcano's intricate black and gold filigrees of leaf and flower motifs cast shadows that amplify their linear structures. In Mr. Roldan's "Viajeros," patches of fabric seem to float in limbo, slowly disintegrating as they drift.
Leonor Mendoza takes a more robust approach to extremely fine thread, which she wraps around a cage of steel bars curved into a basket shape. The results recall an oriole's nest, seemingly fragile yet remarkably durable. Dorothy Roskam's triptych of felted wool wall hangings is also firmly structured. Its central bands of color are woven rather than matted; the felting is achieved by shrinkage, which compresses and unifies the textures while allowing some threads to escape from the impacted surfaces.
Christa Maiwald's two embroidered panels picture a young man surrounded and nourished by morning glories. "Flower Power" implies that the sensitive side of his nature is in conflict with his macho image, while in "Pick Me Up" he accepts the flower's positive influence. An untitled embroidery on sandpaper by Ezequiel Suarez is an unusual juxtaposition of silky and gritty textures, emphasizing sensuousness over pictorial imagery.
Arlene Bujese Gallery, 66 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, (631) 324-3722. Through Feb. 28.
After two decades of running her own galleries on the East End, first at Benton Plaza in Southampton and then in East Hampton for the last 12 years, Ms. Bujese is closing up shop. She has decided to pursue other options, so this large group show is something of a last roundup.
One of the gallery's strengths has been its mixture of established artists, living and dead, with those who are less well known. As a representative of the former group, Elaine de Kooning's major canvas "Six Horses, Blue Wall" illustrates her dynamic response to a visit to the Lascaux caves. Balcomb Greene's "Land and Sea" is characteristic of his long series of variations on the rugged Montauk shoreline bathed in diffused and refracted light.
"Two Stars," an outstanding ink and wax drawing by Alfonso Ossorio, also represents a theme -- in this case, humanity's spiritual quest -- that preoccupied him for many years. James Brooks's lithograph, with lyrical swirls of bold calligraphy; John Little's "Boxtwick," a jazzy chromatic composition; and Mary Abbott's gestural oil and crayon drawing are typical works by outstanding Abstract Expressionist painters who deserve wider recognition.
"White Trousers," a large collage by Josh Dayton, shows his skill at organizing disparate elements in precarious balance. Similarly, but in the softer media of ink wash and watercolor, Carol Hunt's "Lotus Dance" achieves harmony in spite of its apparently helter-skelter design.
There is also a fine selection of sculpture, including William King's "Pioneers," a witty variation on "American Gothic"; a group of bronzes by Calvin Albert; Stanley Kearl's "Antenna Woman," inspired by Giacometti; and "Crescendo," a small, sinuous abstraction by Hans van de Bovenkamp.