This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Augmented Reality, Black Lives Matter, Bromoeroticism, and More

by Michael Anthony Farley on August 1, 2016 Events

Sean O'Connor's Greek-and-sportswear inspired paintings of bros will be on view at the Leslie-Lohman Museum

Sean O’Connor’s Greek-and-sportswear inspired paintings of bros will be on view at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art starting Friday.

It’s August. Very few people are having openings. Which is okay, because you can catch up on some other activities. Such as reading and sports! Head to Printed Matter’s pop-up on Tuesday, then head down to Basketball City for a friendly game with the folks from NADA. Wednesday, the Con Artist Collective is having a $99 art sale in the spirit of a Lower East Side Bodega. Thursday, the New Museum has all sorts of techy delights as they unveil New INC projects and Carter Burden Gallery is hosting a trifecta of medium-specific shows. End the night at the Brooklyn Museum, where Juliana Huxtable will be DJing from within a Tom Sachs installation (uh, hello all my favorite things!). Friday, identity politics gets graphic with Sean O’Connor’s wallpaper-like paintings of homoerotic sports stuff at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and Carla Cubit’s Black Lives Matter posters at chashama.

The Queens Museum is on-point with public programming on Saturday, from plastic bag portraits from Nobutaka Aozaki in Flushing and artist tours of Newtown Creek, where many plastic bags have been flushed. And Sunday, there’s Alma Thomas’s dreamy abstract watercolors uptown at the Studio Museum or some timely dystopian cinema at BAM. Thank you, institutions, for giving us stuff to do while the Chelsea crowd is off using “summer” as a verb.


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Carolina Nitsch Project Room

534 West 22nd Street
New York, NY
12:00 PM - 6:00 PMWebsite

Printed Matter Pop-Up

Beloved artists’ publication go-to Printed Matter is closing their primary location for August to catch up on inventory, but they have a satellite location inside the Carolina Nitsch project space until the 27th. They’ll be offering a selection of their best-selling artist books as well as fundraising editions. We love Printed Matter, so go support them while their main shop is out of commission!

Pier 36 Basketball City

299 South Street
New York, NY
6:00 PM - 8:00 PMWebsite

NADA Hoops: Summer Olympics

Prior to NADA NY’s launch at Basketball City on the Lower East Side, the worlds of athletics and New Art Dealers seemed to have little overlap. But NADA Hoops is like the little Venn Diagram overlap made from two Olympic rings coming together—gallerists can play basketball too! Actually, anyone can. Head to Pier 36 Tuesday night for some pickup games with the NADA crew.


Con Artist Collective & Gallery

119 Ludlow Street
New York, NY
7:00 PM to 11:00 PMWebsite

99 Dollar Store

Want to buy some affordable art? The Con Artist Collective is having a $99 blowout sale. We’re not sure what artists are participating, or if the work will be any good… but you can’t beat the price. We’re only told “Expect a local bodega or Chinese grocery vibe in keeping with the Lower East Side location.” Does this mean the gallery will let us buy loosies with an EBT card? If so, I’m sold.


New Museum

235 Bowery
New York, NY
12:00 PM - 5:00 PMWebsite

Public Beta: NEW INC End-of-Year Showcase 2016, Part 2

New INC, the NuMu’s incubator for art, design, and tech is having a showcase of art/tech/product-related installations and performances… think augmented reality environments and sci-fi like wearable tech. This is probably one of the few museum events where no one will give you side-eye for catching some Pokémon in the lobby.

Featuring: MJ Caselden, Parc Office, Lisa Park, Miriam Simun (who we love), Carlo Van de Roer, VolvoxLabs, Andrea Wolf (image above), and Karolina Ziulkoski

Carter Burden Gallery

548 West 28th Street
New York, NY
6:00 PM - 8:00 PMWebsite

Paint, Print, and Paper

Carter Burden Gallery presents three separate exhibitions curated by Marlena Vaccaro organized around different media. Paint considers all the different ways the material can be applied to a surface, including works from painters Jonathan Bauch, David Cerulli, Liz Curtin, Edgar Franceschi, Elisabeth Jacobsen, Vicki Khuzami, Susan Lisbin, Robert Ludwig, Francie Lyshak, Joan Mellon, Howard Nathenson, Robert W. Petrick, Lester Rapaport, Nieves Saah, Sheila Schwid, and Daena Title. Print similarly presents a survey of different approaches from photographers Jay Ben Adlersberg, Sandra Jetton, Glenn Lieberman, Sara Petitt, and John Whittaker. The gallery is also host to a solo installation Paper from Susan Skoorka. Phew. That’s a lot of art.

Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Website

Boom Box Residency: Juliana Huxtable

Juliana Huxtable is everywhere these days… magazine covers, museums, nightlife… and now inside a Tom Sachs installation. Huxtable will be DJing Sachs’s Boombox Retrospective: 1999–2016 with what has been described as an “unparalleled brand of witchy cyborg beats.” This is a definite can’t miss.

Be sure to head to the Brooklyn Museum early to try out the boombox version of Defender, the classic 80s arcade game that’s been incorporated into Sachs’s show. Quarters required!


Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; Prince St. Project Space

127-B Prince Street
New York, NY
6:00 PM - 8:00 PMWebsite

Sean O'Conner: Graven Images

For his first solo exhibition, Sean O’Connor remixes classical motifs from antiquity, contemporary “bro-mo” culture, and Victorian wallpaper for step-and-repeat patterns of sporty hot dudes. Remember that scene from The Bird Cage where the Republican mom looks at the Grecian china and says “There’s some sort of pattern here! It looks like young men playing leap frog!”? I’m guessing this is going to be something like that but with Under Armour running shorts and Adidas trainers.


266 West 37th Street
New York, NY
6:00 PM - 8:00 PMWebsite

Carla Cubit: Black Lives Matter Art Show

Carla Cubit is presenting a series of posters and mixed-media works inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, alongside photographs from protests. Cubit, of Occupy Art, will be performing at the opening, followed by a speaker from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and discussion.


Flushing Library

4117 Main St
Flushing, New York
1:00 PM - 3:00 PMWebsite

Nobutaka Aozaki: Smiley Bag Portrait

Nobutaka Aozaki transforms the generic “Have A Nice Day” plastic bags into portraits of strangers in public places. They’re pretty much the most adorable thing you can do with the toxic detritus of consumer culture.

The Queens Museum is presenting a series of free sessions with Aozaki across the borough, so if you miss your chance at a signed portrait-on-plastic (which you get to keep!) you’ll have a few other opportunities. Here are the dates and locations:

8/6 Flushing Library
8/7 Jackson Heights Diversity Plaza
8/13 Queens Museum
8/14 Corona Plaza

Newtown Creek

47th Street and 58th Road
Queens, NY
1:00 PM - 7:00 PMWebsite

Chance Ecologies: Newtown Creek

Newtown Creek defines the western end of the border between Kings and Queens counties, but it’s mostly known for being royally flushed—with sewage, industrial pollutants, and probably a million little plastic baggies and water bottles from back when Bushwick was a rave mecca. Still, life finds a way. Check out the flora and fauna that are somehow managing to survive in your poop with tours and projects from artists, activists, and even choreographers.

This is yet another awesome public project from the Queens Museum, curated by Catherine Grau and Nathan Kensinger. There’s a full schedule of the day’s activities on the event page, and participants can meet for each tour or performance at the intersection of 47th Street and 58th Road in Maspeth, Queens. It’s about a 20 min walk from the Grand Street L train, but these weird wetlands will feel a million miles away.


The Studio Museum

144 W. 125th Street
New York, NY
1:00 PM - 2:00 PMWebsite

Gallery Tour: Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas’s mosaic-like abstractions were a unique facet of the 1970s Washington Color School. She didn’t start painting in earnest until after she retired from being a school teacher at the age of 69! She was also one of the few black female faces in the movement, an important point to note considering Washington was nearly 3/4 African American at the height of the Washington Color School.

Although it’s free, it’s recommended you reserve ticket ahead of time through the event page.


30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY
7:30 PMWebsite

Film Screening: Idiocracy & The Second Civil War

The film Idiocracy is so timely it’s terrifying. The premise is basically that intelligent Americans stop having babies, and after a few centuries the country is run by idiots. Reality TV stars and professional wrestlers try to water the nation’s crops with Gatoraid-like sports drinks, dystopic hilarity ensues. It’s pretty much a documentary.

Similarly, The Second Civil War predicted the rise of a conservative politician playing off the heartland’s anti-immigrant sentiments to drive the nation into conflict. Sound familiar? This movie’s from 1997… how far we’ve come in two decades!

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