At the Michael Hennessy Home gallery, Long Island artists have a chance to shine.
BY JENNY SHERMAN
Daybed by Eric Freeman
MANY HAMPTONS RESIDENTS know about the assemblage of artistic talent in their neighborhoods, but few outside of the Long Island enclave are familiar with the area’s artists and artisans. Thanks to Michael Hennessy, that will no longer be the case. The furniture designer, craftsman and artist opened a gallery in NYC this spring that represents many contemporary artists who live and work there. “I know so many people from the Hamptons who do incredible work, and I wanted to bring them to the city to give them accolades as well as promote them,” he says.
True to its name, the Michael Hennessy Home gallery space has a homey quality, with art and furniture pieces arranged as they would be in a full-time residence. It makes for a more comfortable context in which to view the artwork, says Hennessy, as opposed to a stark, austere gallery space. “I wanted a feeling that it was as homelike as possible,” he says.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Symmetry bookcase by Michael Hennessy; paper-cutout-style art by Tom Slaughter, painting by Mila Wilson, table by David Ebner and solid ebony chair and small table by Freeman; furniture and center artwork by Jeff Muhs and paintings by Joyce Brian; a bench by Nico Yektai rests below an Eric Ernst work
Prior to opening the gallery in Chelsea, Hennessy had a home-design store in Bridgehampton called Comerford Hennessy, where he built almost every piece of the company’s private-label furniture. Now, at the current gallery, he’ll have specialty fabricators construct the furniture for him after he designs it. “I wanted to get away from doing all the building and do more of the designing,” he says. “I really wanted to do more of my own ideas and broaden the design ideal.”
The new approach helps him focus on crafting one-of-a-kind original works, like the console piece he recently designed and built. “I’m not going to do another one like it,” he says. “It’s for my own sanity and fun, really.”
PHOTOGRAPHS BY GARY MOMAY