I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Our inaugural exhibition in the newly renovated and vastly expanded Museum space, Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting, is a historic collection show with approximately 250 works on view. Expanded Visions mines the rich cultural coffers of the Museum's collection to trace the evolution of our institution, amid decades of shifting social conditions. The exhibition presents a survey of the collection initiated by the Museum co-founders, Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman, who have spent more than 50 years amassing artworks that speak directly to the LGBTQ experience. Their early efforts yielded one of the most unique archives of work that would have otherwise been lost or destroyed, which comprises the core of the Museum’s collection that now houses more than 30,000 objects.
Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) is best known for her dynamic 1930s cityscapes, Changing New York. As a lesbian and feminist, Abbott found community within the small worlds of Greenwich Village and Montparnasse before discovering a similar freedom in Maine. She listed as an Artist in the 1920 US Census and hung around Man Ray and Djuna Barnes. As she matured in Paris and the US, the once “crazy kid” became productive, but never fashionable or accommodating. To Abbott’s detriment, her prickly temperament was, in her view, irrelevant to her creativity—inalterable yet inconsequential like her flat Midwestern speech or her same-sex affinity.
Above all, she wanted to be remembered as a “self-taught risk taker.” Abbott’s oversize B/W prints are now ubiquitous; their very impersonality a hallmark. Yet she held that because “reality” is the subject, a photographer couldn’t help “equating the objective world with his self.” Her biography lies in the creative tension between this belief and its expression, and is mirrored in her long, contradictory life.
Julia Van Haaften is the author of the biography of American documentary modernist photographer, Berenice Abbott, forthcoming from W. W. Norton, early 2018. This talk is co-sponored by the Robert Giard Foundation and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
David Del Tredici is an American composer, Pulitzer prize winner for music, a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowships, Guggenheim Fellowships and pioneer of the Neo-Romantic movement. He has also been described by the Los Angeles times as one the United States' "most flamboyant outside composers." In his career as a composer he created works celebrating "gayness", acknowledging that many great composers were gay and that "it's something to be celebrated." His partner Malefakis describes his photographs of David as capturing David's daily routine of composing, eating, going to concerts, working out, etc. He is there to document the special moments large and small. With these images he celebrates David's 80th birthday.
Angellos Ioannis Malefakis, the photographer, is an accomplished professional who passion for photography was rekindled when he met David Del Tredici. He is a veteran of the US military, born in Pyrgos, Greece, and grew up in the NYC.
BEYOND OUR WALLS
MAR 7TH, 6:30-8:30PM
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd Street) New York, NY 10029
Directors Rodney Evans, Michelle Memran, and Conrad Ventur discuss how film as a creative medium can document, preserve, and represent LGBTQ history and biography. The program will include clips from the directors' most recent and upcoming films, each of which focus on queer artists, from drag performer and Warhol superstar Mario Montez and playwright Maria Irene Fornes to photographer John Dugdale. Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture co-curator Stephen Vider moderates.
Exhibition Dates: December 1, 2016 - April 2, 2017
This groundbreaking exhibition underscores the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in American art. It introduces and explores the whole spectrum of artistic responses to AIDS, from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, surveying works from the early 1980s to the present. Arts Aids America was originally organized by Tacoma Art Museum in partnership with The Bronx Museum of the Arts, where it was on display until September 25, 2016. The exhibition is co-curated by Jonathan David Katz, director, Visual Studies Doctoral Program at the University at Buffalo (The State University of New York) and Rock Hushka, chief curator and curator of contemporary and Northwest art at Tacoma Art Museum. The Chicago presentation of the exhibition will include expansive public programming and will serve as the catalyst for a citywide dialogue on the cultural impact of HIV/AIDS through robust public programming at the newly constructed Alphawood Gallery and via a constellation of related events presented in association with local arts and advocacy community allies. Admission to the exhibition and all programming held at the Gallery– artist & expert talks, panel discussions, performances, gallery tours, and HIV testing — are free and open to the public. Image: Tino Rodriguez, Eternal Lovers, 2010, Oil on Wood. 18 x 24 in. Private Collection, courtesy of the artist.
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