This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Melting Ice Caps and Harlem Drag Queens

by Michael Anthony Farley on June 19, 2017 Events


At first glance, this is another slow week in the city’s lazy art world summer. On closer inspection there’s plenty of good stuff to see, from a mysterious Ugo Rondinone tribute to the legendary John Giorno at Red Bull Arts (and over a dozen other locations) and The Painting Center’s juried survey of artists responding to Trump. Spend all weekend in Marcus Garvey Park, nexus of the Harlem Arts Festival, where everything from panel discussions to drag queens will give art weirdos an excuse to catch some sunlight and fresh air.

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Flowers Gallery

529 West 20th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

New York Academy of Art Annual Summer Exhibition

I’ve always been curious about the New York Academy of Art, a tiny private art school founded in the 1980s with an impressive roster of faculty and an emphasis on critique. It should be interesting to see what their students have been up to, and this is one such opportunity to do just that.

The summer exhibition jurors are Matthew Flowers, Managing Director of Flowers Gallery, Andrew Russeth, Executive Editor, ARTNews and Joyce Varvatos, Art Advisor.


Marlborough New York

40 West 57th Street
New York, NY
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website

Diane Tuft: The Arctic Melt

The Arctic is melting, fast. It’s heartbreaking and scary and frustrating because we have a government that refuses to address climate change. But at least the process lends itself to some truly gorgeous images. Diane Tuft’s recent photographs of the changing region are beautiful examples of landscape photography—we’re glad she caught them before it really is too late.

Red Bull Arts

220 W 18th Street
New York, NY
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno

This exhibition is billed as “the first major U.S. exhibition about the American poet, artist, activist and muse John Giorno.” Its spread through 13 sites across the city, but the event kicks off at Red Bull Arts. What will this scavenger hunt of a tribute show look like? We’re unsure, but practically everything Ugo Rondinone touches is gold.

Lazy Susan Gallery

191 Henry Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Collaborative Drawings by Noah Becker and Jason Mclean

Noah Becker (of Whitehot Magazine fame) and Jason Mclean are two transplants to Brooklyn from the Canadian art scene. For the past year, they’ve been collaborating on exquisite-corpse-like drawings, which look to be both humorous and smart. Here we’ll get to see some examples from the fruits of their collective labor. This show should be fun.


The Painting Center

547 West 27th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Fight or Flight

Last year’s political turmoil and its unthinkable results have been really hard to cope with for many of us. For their annual juried exhibition this year, The Painting Center asked artists to reflect on how the events of 2016 (and its aftermath) have affected their process. This show seems to suggest that artists will either make more politically-charged works or retreat into escapist studio practices. We’ve seen plenty of both in the past few months, and can’t blame anyone for either strategy.

Curated by: Alix Bailey, Barbara Marks and Patricia Spergel

Artists: Carla Aurich, Heather Beardsley, Tinka Bechert, Samantha Beste, Sarah Bielski, Maria Bjorkdahl, Larissa Borteh, Susan Cantrick, Susan Carr, Alexander Churchill, Tom Climent, Lili Cohen Prah-Ya,, Michele Colburn, Daniel Dallmann, Sarah D’Ambrosio, Carlo D’Anselmi, Mary DeVincentis, Patricia Fabricant, Gordon Fearey, Barbara Friedman, Elizabeth Gilfilen, Nancy Gladwell, Hilary Goldblatt,, Suzy Gonzalez, Julie Graham, Alvin Griffin, Melinda Hackett, Elizabeth Ashton Hallett, Fukuko Harris, Paula Heisen, Jesse Hickman, Amy Hill, William Holton, April Zanne Johnson, Michelle Kaufman,, Ruin Kenzie, Leslie Kerby, Keri Kimura, Liliya Krys-Burhoe, Jaena Kwon, Diana Lawrence, Chungha Lim, Sally Lord, Paul Manlove, China Marks, Olivia Leigh Martin, Alan Montgomery, Andrew Nash, Douglas Navarra, Ekaterina Popova, Ana Rankin, Elizabeth Reagh, Scott Reeds, Claudia Renfro, Lauren Schiller, Francis Sills, Candice Smith Corby, Jeff Starr, Jeanne Tremel, Kathy Weinberg, Ava Werner, Susan Wolsborn, Shihori Yamamoto

Asya Geisberg Gallery

537B W 23rd Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website


Ceramics seem to everywhere these days. In part, that can be attributed to market demand. But artists are also increasingly drawn to the ancient medium, in part due to its seemingly endless potential for experimentation. This show looks at ceramicists who bend the rules—using glazing techniques borrowed from painting or embedding non-kiln-safe materials such as hair in the clay.

Artists: Kathy Butterly (pictured above), Ling Chun, Future Retrieval, Valerie Hegarty, Cody Hoyt, Heidi Lau, Rebecca Morgan, Joakim Ojanen, Elise Seigel, Anthony Sonnenberg, Guðmundur Thoroddsen, and Cristina Tufiño.


Westbeth Gallery

55 Bethune Street
New York, NY
1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

Westside Exposure: Whitney Staff Art Show

We’re always impressed by people who manage to work in the arts and still have time for their own practices. Being surrounded by artwork in one of the nation’s top institutions all day must have a pretty profound impact on one’s own work. We’re curious to see how that hypothesis holds up here, at the Whitney Staff Art Show, where over 70 pieces by Whitney employees will be on view for the next few weeks.


1329 Willoughby Ave.
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Website

Armature: New Paintings by Liz Ainslie

Liz Ainslie’s abstract paintings flirt between suggestions of illusionistic space and ultra-flat graphic forms, both rendered in tense brushstrokes that seem at odds with the canvases’ usually calming compositions. They’re the kind of abstraction that anyone can take take something different from. To me, they’re evocative of mid-century modern textile prints.

At any rate, Ainslie is showing a whole bunch of recent paintings here, and we’re betting there will be some serious crowd pleasers.


Marcus Garvey Park

New York, NY
3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.Website

Harlem Arts Festival

The Harlem Arts Festival is a two day opportunity to spend some quality outdoor/culture time in Marcus Garvey Park. The lineup includes everything from performances and panel discussions in the park to site-specific artworks around the neighborhood. Highlights include inHarlem: artist Simone Leigh’s guided sensory tour and a Drag Queen Story Hour.



178 Norfolk Street
New York, NY
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website

Last Day to See Patricia Treib: Interstices

This isn’t so much an “event” as an encouragement to see Patricia Treib’s solo show before it closes. I visited it with Patti Hernandez, who isn’t that into painting and even she ended up liking it.

Treib’s calligraphic-like brushstrokes read like some mysterious language, other forms feel grounded in the vocabulary of early modernist abstractions. Her handling of paint is just so masterful, you’ll really want to see this one in the flesh while you can.

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