This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Queens Reigns Supreme

by Michael Anthony Farley on June 5, 2017 · 1 comment Events


A decade ago, if you said that Manhattanites would be regularly heading to Queens for their culture fix it’s unlikely most people would’ve believed you outside of Long Island City. But now the borough is increasingly our go-to destination for art events. From Marni Kotak’s artist talk at Microscope Gallery tonight (just on the Brooklyn side of the Ridgewood border) to the surrealist pop-up “DEBTBANK” at the Queens Museum on Sunday, everyone should be spending most of the week East of the East River.

Other Queens highlights include Lex Brown’s solo show and performance at Deli Gallery on Friday night and a three-day preview of a Meredith Monk performance at Queenslab in Ridgewood. Arguably the most fun to be had, though, will be the 2017 Flux-a-Thon benefit in Long Island City. That interactive parade will wind from Flux Factory to neighboring Plaxall Gallery for prizes and an hours-long dance party.

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Microscope Gallery

1329 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m, - 9:00 p.m.Website

Artist Talk with Marni Kotak

How much information is too much information? One might find themselves asking that of Marni Kotak, the performance artist who has documented her child’s life via Go-Pro for the past six years in addition to her own battles with postpartum depression.

Excerpts from the six-hour “Raising Baby X: Five Years” will be screened, and will discuss her current exhibition in the gallery: Treehouse. This latest project focuses on the struggle to recover from a catastrophic fire in the artist’s own home while coping with the stresses o the current political climate. This work might be ultra-personal, but it’s certainly relatable to our era.


SVA SocDoc Theater

136 West 21st Street
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Ferocious Ink

SVA’s Visual Narrative MFA program and the Goethe-Institut New York are cohosting this talk from authors and illustrators Line Hoven and Nora Krug. The duo will talk about German identity (expect this to be angsty and philosophical!) and “ways of weaving the personal, cultural and historical into new forms of storytelling.” I never understood where the bizarre and totally wrong stereotype that Germans don’t have a sense of humor comes from. The above image, from Line Hoven, should put that misconception to rest once and for all.


Children's Museum of the Arts

103 Charlton Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Maker, Maker

Even grown-ups will want to check out the opening reception for Maker, Maker at the Children’s Museum. Curators Paul Laster and Renée Riccardo are positioning craft as more than a playtime activity. The show looks at the relationship between the fine art world and the DIY explosion—from etsy crafters to hackers.

Artists: Derrick Adams, Sanford Biggers, Caroline Wells Chandler, Adam Frezza/Terri Chiao, Brad Kahlamer, Jon Kessler, LoVid, Jason Middlebrook, Rebecca Morgan, Carlos Rolón/Dzine


Lyles & King

106 Forsyth Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Trudy Benson & Yann Gerstberger: TT52

Trudy Benson and Yann Gerstberger’s work makes so much sense together. Benson’s collage-like oil paintings are full of references to modernist art history, but are such a process-based celebration of the medium’s potential. Similarly, Gerstberger’s genre-pushing tapestries convey a love of fiber as much as references—specifically European modernism’s gaze towards the “exotic” tropics and the influences of his recent relocation to Mexico City. Both artists’ work feels as joyful as it is thoughtful, so if you need some cheering-up this week, this is the show for you.


Deli Gallery

10-16 46th Ave
Queens, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Lex Brown: Immortal Duck

Paddy Johnson raves about a performance piece Lex Brown did as an MFA student at Yale earlier this year, in which Brown was able to transform nearly any object she chose into a metaphor of her chosing. Lex Brown also writes erotic science fiction about social justice and climate change. And now, Lex Brown has a solo show of sculptures, works on paper, and performance inspired in part by Daffy Duck getting shot by Elmer Fudd. This is definitely an opening you don’t want to miss.


1618 Decatur Street
Ridgewood, NY
8:00 p.m.Website

Meredith Monk: Cellular Songs Work-in-Progress Preview

Multidisciplinary artist Meredith Monk and her Vocal Ensemble are previewing their work-in-progress Cellular Songs this weekend. The piece technically opens Thursday night with a gala hosted by designer Isaac Mizrahi and artist Jim Hodges (tickets start at $300/head) but will run Friday and Saturday nights with much more affordable $22 tickets ($15 for students).

Monk is one of the most critically acclaimed figures straddling the worlds of art, theater, and music, so this is a great opportunity to get a glimpse at her process. Cellular Songs is about humanity’s “interdependent relationship with nature” and will feature performers drawing inspiration from cells’ biological processes. As nerdy as microbiology sounds, expect this to be a very cool experience—think strange sounds and movements inspired by mitosis.


Flux Factory

39-31 29th Street
Queens, NY
4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Website

Flux-a-Thon 2017

Flux Factory’s second-annual Flux-a-Thon promises to be one of the season’s most unique fundraisers. Basically, attendees enter a parade in teams that compete before a panel of celebrity judges (the parade kicks off from from Flux Factory at 4 p.m. and ends at Plaxall Gallery at 5). Then it’s one big dance party.

We love any excuse to play dress up. One that benefits free public art programming and an artist residency is even better!

Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.Website

Rafa Esparza and Nao Bustamante: Floating Gardens No. 2

In Floating Gardens No. 2, performance artists Rafa Esparza and Nao Bustamante will lead each other and the viewer on a strange procession through the first floor of the Whitney Biennial. Esparza will be using adobe bricks from his own installation to create a moving platform for the duo, continually laying and reconfiguring a path through the museum. Bustamante brings a great sense of gravity (but also humor) to every performance, so seeing this should be a memorable experience.

Jorge Andrew Gallery

251 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Luz Angélica Fernández

Luz Angélica Fernández’s name means light. It’s appropriate, then, that her paintings also work with the phenomenon. Sometimes on lightboxes, and sometimes on canvas, Fernández recall neon-soaked city streets, smoggy sunsets, and all the weird lighting we get in the megalopolis. Fernández is a native New Yorker (yes, there are some left in Brooklyn!) and her work makes references to the city’s ebbs and flows, from graffiti and grime to the ever-creeping construction sites.


Queens Museum

New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Website

Art as a Tool for Resisitance with Social Practice Queens (SPQ)

The Queens Museum continues its current streak of politically-charged programming with two projects on Sunday. In “DEBTBANK”, artists Alix Camacho Vargas and Jeff Kasper invite the public to discuss their own stories of debt at a pop-up theatrical “info desk” (in English or Spanish). This piece will be in the museum’s West-side library from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30.

Meanwhile in the Unisphere gallery, Julian Phillips, Zaid Islam and Floor Grootenhuis will be hosting two sessions of “Resistance Theater” with the public. This involves signmaking and theatrical exercises inspired by protest and authority. Participants should register by emailing


3A Gallery

179 Canal Street
New York, NY
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

Satoru Eguchi: Daymare Hangout

Satoru Eguchi’s playful installations often recall domestic interiors or workspaces. Here, though, Eguchi will be focusing on fountains—an interest that grew out of the artist’s need to bring some small references to nature to New York after moving away from the seaside mountains of Japan. Eguchi’s work is charmingly weird, and if this drawing (of a human-faced cat inside a fountain?) is any indication, this won’t disappoint in that department.

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