By Judy McGuire
With recent major museum retrospectives from Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Robert Mapplethorpe, David Wojnarowicz and Hockney, LGBTQI art seems to be having more than a moment. But while museums have traditionally honored single artists, large survey shows of queer art are rarer than you might think. The Columbus Museum of Art’s new traveling exhibition, “Art After Stonewall, 1969 – 1989,” is a welcome remedy to that.
The show’s lead curator (there are a few) and editor of the gorgeous catalog that accompanies it, painter/art historian Jonathan Weinberg, says the only other big survey show was Hide/Seek: Difference in American Portraiture, curated by Jonathan David Katz at the National Portrait Gallery. “You can’t talk about major museums that have done historical shows about gay art,” Weinberg says, “because there just aren’t many. Sad to say, most museums in the U.S. have been very conservative in terms of queer shows and exhibitions.”
Nor are there many books on the history of gay art. “I think people are under the misconception that it’s a bigger topic because there are papers or articles about it. But there are very few books.”