Brooklyn Museum celebrates the influence of gay and lesbian artists with HIDE/SEEK exhibit

Sexual orientation and gender meet art in HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, the first major museum exhibition to explore how gender and sexual identity have shaped the creation of American portraiture. The exhibit will be on display at the Brooklyn Museum beginning this Thursday, November 18, 2011, through February 12, 2012.  Organized and presented last fall at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.—where GLAAD brought attention to anti-LGBT bias after the museum’s decision to pull a video installation by artist David Wojnarowicz—the exhibit has been reconstructed and reorganized by the Brooklyn Museum in collaboration with the Tacoma Art Museum. 

Approximately 100 works are included in HIDE/SEEK spanning a wide range of media created over 100 years reflecting a variety of identities and generational stories. HIDE/SEEK celebrates the influence of many gay and lesbian artists—a number of whom coded their subjects’ sexual identities as well as their own with particular visual strategies. According to the Brooklyn Museum, HIDE/SEEK focuses on a number of these themes including the role of sexual difference in depicting modern Americans, how artists have explored the definition of sexuality and genders, how major themes in modern art—especially abstraction—have been influenced by marginalization and how art has reflected society’s changing attitudes.

Spotlighting more than a century of modern art including works from the first half of the 1900s, HIDE/SEEK will feature nearly all of the works included in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition. Additionally, a number of public programs will also be presented along with HIDE/SEEK including a two-part symposium that will dive into themes and issues directly related to the exhibition itself. One panel will explore the complex roles, responsibilities and challenges that cultural institutions face when presenting “controversial” work, while another panel will discuss representations of identity and sexuality in art.

For more information on the Brooklyn Museum as well as the exhibition HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, please visit here.  

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