Art After Sonewall

Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe featured in 'Art After Stonewall'

May 30, 2019 - 11:05 am

In timing with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprisings and World Pride Month, the Columbus Museum of Art, NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art present the exhibition “Art After Stonewall.”

This two-part exhibition is considered the first to showcase and analyze art during and after the LGBTQ civil rights movement and features more than 200 works from a diverse range of artists exploring the influence of the LGBTQ liberation movement during 1969 –1989.

“Art After Stonewall” consists of seven parts. First, Coming Out, which examines the period before the Stonewall Uprising when many LGBTQ artists rejected or felt obligated to hide their sexual identities.

Sexual Outlaws showcases art that challenged the status quo with transparent sexual content and themes.

The Uses of the Erotic consists of artwork heavily influenced by African American and self-proclaimed “lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” Audre Lorde and her essays. Lorde often analyzed female power and how it was often challenged, repressed, and misunderstood.

“There are many kinds of power, used and unused, acknowledged or otherwise. The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling,” Lorde once said.

Works in this section examine how artists put a new spin on sex and intimacy and follow a theme dedicated to human autonomy, physicality, and sensuality.

Gender and Body examines the influence of cross-dressing and gender-bending in the 1970s and ’80s in various art medium featuring works by artists who associated gender with performance.

Things Are Queer dives into the concept of queerness, and how it was developed as a way to disable labeling of individuals as straight or gay, as well as, female or male.

AIDS and Activism explore how the epidemic was constantly associated with homosexuals and its impact on the world, however, especially within the LGBTQ communities and art.

The final section, We’re Here, puts a spotlight on the 1980s, which was a moment of liberation for LGBTQ communities in America, in which, queerness became mainstream, and was no longer considered marginalized in American society and culture.

The anticipated exhibition includes artworks by openly LGBTQ artists Andy Warhol, Holly Hughes, Robert Mapplethorpe, Vaginal Davis, Louise Fishman, Joan Snyder, Nan Goldin, Lyle Ashton Harris, Barbara Hammer, Greer Lankton, and Catherine Opie.

Attendees can view the first exhibition at Grey Art Gallery from April 24 - July 20.

Hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 11 am – 6 pm, and open late on Wednesday from 11 am – 8 pm and Saturday 11 am – 5 pm. Admission is a suggested donation of $5 for adults, and free of charge for NYU students, faculty, and staff.

The second part of the exhibition is located at the Leslie-Lohman Museum from April 24 until July 21. Hours are Wednesday – Sunday from 12 – 6 pm and Thursday 12 – 8 pm. Admission is a suggested donation of $10.

-- Marie Flounoy

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