Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle is the fifth edition of the Queens Museum of Art’s biennial of artists living and working in Queens. The 31 artists included were selected from 650 online applications and hundreds of recommendations from participants in previous editions. They live or work in the Queens neighborhoods of Astoria, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, and Ridgewood. Typically for the borough, many of the participating artists or their parents hail from around the world-from Taiwan, Israel, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Lithuania, Japan, Tibet, and Uruguay, plus exotic locales like upstate New York, Kentucky, and Los Angeles. Some artists’ families have been living in Queens for generations. The show is also inter-generational, with participants ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s.
This year, themes the curators noticed while conducting studio visits became a significant part of the exhibition. Many artists across the age spectrum and from different national origins were working in forms of abstraction, both painting and sculpture. Many others were telling fantastical stories of other places and times through painting, video, and performance. Together, they seemed to be combining the rational and the emotional in a search for worlds beyond our own, while living daily lives saturated by technology.
The exhibition will be installed in three first-floor galleries at the Queens Museum. “Three points” can also represent the three curators (who together explored the geographical area that is Queens). But in fact, the subtitle originates with French Surrealist René Daumal’s unfinished novel Mount Analogue (1944), in which — in close correlation with the thematics of the exhibition — eight explorers use scientific knowledge and metaphysical powers to search for a magical mountain invisible to the human eye.