In the days leading up to the opening of “Counterpoint: Selections From the Peter Marino Collection” at the Southampton Arts Center, the architect known for designing luxurious flagships for global fashion brands made a cryptic reference about a gift he planned to bestow on the summer enclave. At Friday’s opening reception, Marino came clean, and revealed he’d established the Peter Marino Art Foundation.
The architect bought 11 Jobs Lane, a two-story, nearly 8,000-square-foot building adjacent to the arts center. Designed in 1895 by R.H. Robertson, it opened to the public the following year as the Rogers Memorial Library. Marino, whose architectural practice incorporates art, including site-specific commissions into retail spaces, plans to restore the building with construction starting in September 2019.
The foundation will feature a permanent public exhibition of artworks from Marino’s collection. “I’ll show old stuff and new stuff,” he said. “The foundation will become what should be happening in cities everywhere. It will be a place for cultural and community activities.
“For the moment, the foundation is a full-time commitment,” Marino said. “Can I say I would never do something with [an] institution in the city? I’m going to focus on this and put all my efforts into making this a little jewel.”
Besides the permanent exhibit, Marino said he’s considering giving over space to “some of the top art dealers in the world. Gagosian’s Picasso shows are some of the best shows I’ve seen in my life. A second idea would be featuring younger artists such as Joel Morrison and Tom Sachs and showing one of them each season so they get to know the Southampton community.”
Programming the exhibitions clearly appeals to Marino. “That will be the fun,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll get the complete renovation done in a year. I’m doing 41 projects around the world. I’m hoping to actually enjoy myself with this.”