By James Tarmy
Society didn’t rush to embrace queer communities after the 1969 riots that collectively became known as Stonewall, but at least a harassed minority group finally had a name, a voice, and eventually, a movement.
And even if government-sponsored harassment didn’t suddenly stop—the riots began because of a police raid on a gay bar in the West Village called the Stonewall Inn—Stonewall was, at the very least, an indicator that things were beginning to change.
One of the first places that change could be felt was in contemporary art.
In a new exhibition, Art After Stonewall, 1969-1989, the reverberations of Stonewall and a growing openly queer art community are explored in depth. The exhibition opens on April 24 at the Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie Lohman Museum in New York, then travels to the The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum in Miami, then to the Columbus Museum of Art. Simultaneously, Rizzoli has published a book of the same name with contributions from writers, curators, and artists.