This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Arctic Performances and Rooftop Sculptures

by Michael Anthony Farley on April 11, 2017 Events


This is a bit of a slow week in New York’s art world. That’s a good thing, because everyone will need their energy for our goth party next week.

Nevertheless, we managed to track down at least one art outing per day that looks promising. Tuesday, Wong Kit Yi is closing her show of Arctic-specific performance documentation at P [exclamation]. Karaoke is rumored to be involved. Wednesday, Hercules Art Studio Program is opening a show about painting and the body that couldn’t feel more relevant to contemporary discourse. Thursday, we found a subversive performance night at Ridgewood’s The Woods, and Friday we’re looking forward to checking out Adrián Villar Rojas’s rooftop installation at the Met. This weekend MoMA opens the must-see Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, and the Queens Museum will host a Sunday book launch of election-woe poetry.

Remember: rest up. You’ll need that energy for dancing.


  1. T
  2. W
  3. T
  4. F
  5. S
  6. S


P [exclamation]

334 Broome
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Wong Kit Yi: Futures, Again Closing Reception

Two years ago, Wong Kit Yi offered collectors the chance to commission performances ahead of a residency in the Arctic. Now, the results of that process are on view for the first time. The show comprises seven photographs documenting the commissioned works alongside ephemera from the Arctic trip. The show closes Tuesday night, “with a chance of Karaoke”.


SVA Amphitheater |

209 East 23rd Street
New York, NY
1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Website

The Building Toy Project

The Building Toy Project (Lucie Meichun Cai, Ke Hu, and Yujia Liu) asks us to reconsider the idea of architecture as a static space. With the advent of augmented reality and VR, it won’t be for long.

The team has designed a series of interactive virtual spaces that invite viewers to manipulate the architecture. It looks like the future is going to be a lot more playful.

Hercules Art Studio Program

25 Park Place
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

We The Watchers Are Also Bodies

This show, from curator Natasha Marie Llorens, is organized around assumptions about painting’s relationship to the body. Namely, that paying attention is one of the tentpole phenomena of the medium. And importantly, “politics that disavow the body are vicious.”

It’s the kind of topic I’m tempted to describe as timely, given the discourse surrounding the Whitney Biennial and issues of representation. But maybe it’s a topic that’s timeless? De Kooning said “Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented” way back in 1974, after all.
I’m not familiar with all the artists in the show, but it does seem the curator made smart choices. Eric Mack’s visceral paintings on fabric, for example, conjure a number of bodily associations—some seem to suggest care or an act of violence alternately, while others could allude to nomadic architecture and the idea of “shelter”.
Artists: Sophie Grant, Maryam Hoseini, Eric Mack, RJ Messineo, Sophy Naess, Jennifer Packer, Rit Premnath, Em Rooney


Andrew Kreps Gallery

537 W 22nd Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Kevin Jerome Everson: Century

Kevin Jerome Everson’s thoughtful short films are informed by documentaries, identity politics, and formalist filmmaking, but manage to feel like something totally apart from all of the above. Some of the works play with narrative, combining real and imagined (or exaggerated) vignettes from the lives of working class African Americans. Another follows cars manufactured in the artist’s Ohio hometown decades ago as they make their way to be crushed in a junkyard.

The Woods

1826 Palmetto
Queens, NY
7:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.Website

KarnaL KriminaLz [fujeetiv fleshh]

Every once and a while, we get invited to an event with a roster of artists we don’t (yet) know in a place we’ve never heard of, but we feel like we have to go. This is one of those nights. How can we pass up something called “Ghost Piss”? Ridgewood art space The Woods, in conjunction with curators Wild Embeddings and Pulsar, is hosting a night of performance art that sounds wonderful and weird.

From the listing: “Ulay said there is ‘a criminal touch to art’. Given today’s fascist phenomenons, what does it mean to approach one’s creative output with this sense of criminality — whether in attitude or imposed embodiment? Shall we not all become delinquents together…disobedient?”

Artists: Hector Canonge, Verónica Peña, Spitline, STITSR, Lion Ayodele, Tracy Fenix, Caitlin Baucom, Quinn Dukes, Ilse Lansdale, Nip Slip, Ghost Piss

$10 Suggested Donation


The Met

1000 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY
10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Website

The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas

Spring is in the air, which means it’s time to take advantage of outdoor art stuff.

Arguably the most promising outdoor artwork this year is Adrián Villar Rojas’s new installation on the Met’s roof. The Argentine artist, who often works in concrete, is creating a series of large-scale sculptures that are inspired by the Met’s permanent collection. (The above image is from a previous commission). We can’t wait to see this one.



11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY
10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.Website

Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction

Thank the gods (and curators Starr Figura, Sarah Hermanson Meister, and Hillary Reder) for this show. One of our biggest pet peeves at AFC is the art world’s bizarre tendency to label abstraction a man’s game (and therefor, usually, irrelevant). Women have been making abstract work forever, and hopefully a high-profile exhibition at one of the world’s leading art museums will set the record straight. The artists here are some of the biggest names in 20th century art, and it goes without saying this will be one of the year’s must-see shows.

Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Gego, Agnes Martin, Anne Truitt, Jo Baer, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, ee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Anne Ryan, Gertrudes Altschul, Ruth Asawa, Carol Rama, and Alma Woodsey Thomas

Field Projects

526 West 26 street
New York, NY
1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.Website

Make or Take: A Poster for March for Science workshop

The upcoming March for Science (April 22nd, Earth Day) is arguably one of the most important fronts in the battle against the Trump administration. Pretty much: if science goes unfunded and ignored, all other issues will be moot because we’ll be dead from global warming or an asteroid strike anyway.

So join artist/curator Karen Lederer to make signs for the march. All materials will be provided. This is part of her exhibition HANDS ON, which will be on view until April 29th.


Queens Museum

New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

Book Launch & Readings: Resist Much / Obey Little

The day after the election, Michael Boughn and Kent Johnson decided to compile a collection of poetry. Months later, this is the result. Featuring work from 350 poets across 740 pages, this might be the post-inauguration therapy you need. The launch features readings and an opportunity for book signing. Half of the proceeds from book sales are going to Planned Parenthood.

Reading: Bruce Andrews, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Katy Bohinc, Charles Borkhuis, Lee Ann Brown, Xanath Caraza, Ruth Danon, Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Andrew DuBois, Lisa Freedman, William Joseph Freind, Philip Fried, Quintus Havis, Bob Holman, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Brenda Iijima, Judith Johnson, Vincent Katz, Burt Kimmelman, Robert Kocik, Ron Kolm, Andrew Levy, Susan Lewis, Eileen Myles, Murat Nemet-Nejat, Nita Noveno, Julie Patton, Ilka Scobie, Larissa Shmailo, KC Trommer, Matt Turner, Joshua Weiner, Don Wellman, Suzanne Wise, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Anton Yakovlev

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