HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture is the first major museum exhibition to explore how gender and sexual identity have shaped the creation of American portrait painting. It is open at the Brooklyn Museum until February 12th, 2012.
HIDE/SEEK includes approximately a hundred works in a wide range of media created over the course of one hundred years that reflect a variety of sexual identities and the stories of several generations.
Highlighting the influence of gay and lesbian artists, many of whom developed new visual strategies to code and disguise their subjects’ sexual identities as well as their own, HIDE/SEEK considers such themes as the role of sexual difference.
In addition to its commentary on a marginalised cultural history, HIDE/SEEK offers an unprecedented survey of more than a century of American art. Beginning with late nineteenth-century portraits by Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent, it includes works from the first half of the 1900s by such masters as Romaine Brooks, George Bellows and Georgia O’Keeffe, the exhibition continues through the postwar periods with works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, and concludes with late twentieth-century masterpieces by artists such as Keith Haring, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Catherine Opie.
Highlights include a portrait of New Yorker writer Janet Flanner wearing two masks, taken by Bernice Abbott; a photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe in which a leather-clad Brian Idley is seated on a chair shackled to his whip-wielding partner, Lyle Heeter; and Cass Bird’s photographic portrait of a friend staring out from under a cap emblazoned with the words “I look Just Like My Daddy.” The exhibition also includes David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly, an unfinished film the artist created between 1985 and 1987.
HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture was originally organized by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. It is open at the Brooklyn museum until February 12th 2012. For further information please visit: “www.brooklynmuseum.org” : www.brooklynmuseum.org
The source of this article is Brooklyn Museum.