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 a unique archive 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.
Charles Leslie, co- founder of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, unveils two epic painting by Sonia Melara.
Charles Leslie will share the story behind his latest commission, which illustrates the ancient Sumerian love story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The evening will be topped off by Sonia Melara, signing her newly published catalogue raisonne. Drinks and Middle Eastern hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Image: Sonia Melara, The Martyrdom of Ganymede,(detail), 2001. Courtesy of the artist.
Hidden Subject deals with movement, bodies and shapes, contrasting a sense of serenity with the tension of a latent sexuality that could be present but remains hidden. Gerardo Vizmanosí work is heavily influenced by his experience of being born into a heteronormative society which tolerates gay men who are able to hide within assigned roles.
The concept of subject is central to Vizmanosí work. The artist uses his visual language to address philosophical concepts surrounding the notion of being. His work addresses paradoxes: Showing elements that can be at once present and absent from perception. Looking at these images, "subject" can be the one who is under authority or control, or the one who originates the controlling action.
Hidden Subject will be presented with a display of murals specifically for this show where Gerardo Vizmanos will show references and elements that inform his work. In this first solo exhibition, he showcases different styles and techniques and features 25 color, and black and white images. In addition to the show there will be a gallery talk with the opportunity to meet the artist.
Images: Gerardo Vizmanos, Back landscape, 2016, 35mm/Inkjet print, 15.5x18.5in. Gerardo Vizmanos, Face collage, 2016, Polaroid, 15.5x18.5in. Gerardo Vizmanos, Back and black, 2016, Digital/Inkjet print, 15.5x18.5in. Courtesy the artist.
This exhibit and sale is both a 20 year retrospective of the drawings and paintings of Michael Mitchell, and a look at the evolution of a commercial illustrator’s developing interest in homo-erotic art. The pieces range from tasteful nudes to explicit scenarios. These offerings include large scale works from public performance painting, the intimate little Erotic Alphabet, participants of the Amsterdam Gay Games, and mock-ups for invitations to Hands On - a private safe sex club the artist founded at the dawn of the AIDS crisis. The work celebrate the academic and the ribald… the sentimental and the salacious.
Image: Michael Mitchell, The Neighbor. Courtesy the artist.
Chris Bogia is the Co-Founder and Director of Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), the first LGBTQ artist residency in the world, located in Cherry Grove, on Fire Island, NY. A visual artisit and instructor of sculpture at New York University, Bogia will share personal work and describe his inspiration and leadership behind the Fire Island Artist Residency. Bogia will be joined by FIAR alum:
Travis Boyer (2011) favors socio-kinetic art and generative group activities and is motivated by an interest in the visual and tactile potential of textiles, as well as the intimacy and sensuality of fabrics.
Kris Grey (2012) is a gender queer artist whose work combines strategies of communication, activism, community building, education, lecture, and studio production. KristinGrey.com
Babirye Leilah Burns Sculptor (2015) is a visual artist specializing in abstract sculpture utilizing wood, scrap metal and found objects. She deals with subjects including human rights and gay issues in Uganda, exploring political, social and economic topics.
Jesse Harrod (2016) makes work that employs traditional and contemporary craft practices focused on craft as a shadow category of art production to traditional or mainstream fine art. She is interested in how a "hobbyist" or "bad taste" aesthetic may relate to queer identity, as well as to second and third wave feminist thought. JesseHarrod.com
This series opens space for critical dialogue between artists, curators, and the general public through lectures and panels. These events explore the role of LGBTQ issues in art making and situate the Museum as a platform for contemporary cultural discourse and education. Speakers Series lectures are free and open to the public and start at 6:30 unless otherwise noted.
Funding for this series has been received in part from the generous support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and educational grants from the Arcus Foundation and the Keith Haring Foundation.
Image: FIAR Flag, 2016, digital photograph detail. Courtesy of the FIAR.
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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