Aliza Nisenbaum. Queens, Lindo y Querido

23 Apr 2023 – 10 Sep 2023

Regular hours

11:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00

Save Event: Aliza Nisenbaum. Queens, Lindo y Querido4

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Queens Museum

New York
New York, United States


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Aliza Nisenbaum portrays human stories. With her magically exuberant color palette, she paints people, individually or in groups, with their countenance, posture, and immediate surroundings organically composed to depict their humanity.

Aliza Nisenbaum: Queens, Lindo y Querido, chronicles the artist’s years-long engagement with people at the Queens Museum and its neighborhood, Corona. Adapted from the popular Vincente Fernández song “Mexico, Lindo y Querido”— translated in English to “Mexico, Beautiful and Beloved” — the exhibition title highlights Nisenbaum’s personal and artistic relationships to the sitters and their environments, with careful attention paid to expressions of what people value, as expressed through material culture. The artist’s involvement with Corona, Queens residents started in 2012 when she volunteered for Immigrant Movement International. Led by artist Tania Bruguera, this hyper-local, multi-year project was created in collaboration with the Museum and Creative Time to engage the neighborhood’s largely Spanish speaking community members. Mexican-born and New York-based, Nisenbaum taught a feminist art history class there as a way of teaching English to students, and that experience led to a series of portraits of the students and their families. 

Nisenbaum returned to the Queens Museum in 2021, and now teaches a Spanish-English bilingual painting workshop to a group of volunteer leaders of the ongoing La Jornada and Queens Museum Cultural Food Pantry. Restaged as El Taller (The Workshop) the exhibition will showcase works created by the students alongside Nisenbaum’s portraits of these participants. Other highlights of the exhibition include three portraits of the Museum’s staff members who help facilitate her engagement with the local community, as well as The Ones Who Make It Run (2022), a painting commissioned by the Queens Museum and Delta Air Lines for the newly inaugurated Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport that portrays sixteen Delta and Port Authority employees.  

Painting in the wide wake of Mexican muralists Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, who eloquently told social and labor histories, memorializing significant historic moments of the country, Nisenbaum’s stories, while also social narratives, arise out of private spaces and intimate situations relating to her encounter with the lives of her sitters. In this sense, Nisenbaum’s practice of painting is a kind of public record of the artist’s attention, permeated by stories told by her sitters—stories, that in turn, form the background scenes, imaginatively composed, of their tellers. Nothing more, nothing less.

Aliza Nisenbaum: Queens, Lindo y Querido is organized by Hitomi Iwasaki, Head of Exhibitions/Curator. 

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Aliza Nisenbaum


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