Queer abstraction often takes up these older forms, with all of their historical baggage, and re-styles them in ways that are excessive—eschewing or actively skewering the all-too-serious and the straitlaced in favor of the exaggerated, the over-the-top, the unnatural, and the humorous.
The surface play of pattern and repetition is another shared tactic activated by the exhibition. The patterns create networks and speak to the affiliations through which queer life-worlds are possible. Decorative pattern also thrives among the textile-based practices in the show, where the standard canvas is taken for the fabric that it is.
In Phantsi Komngcunube , Nicholas Hlobo weaves white ribbon and black leather across a grid of four blank canvases, connected by a central pulsating amalgamation of leather bulges and ribbons pouring down to the floor.
Pattern and ornament become meditative and proliferative, spilling over as excessive materiality. Pei wing. This exhibition is important, not only because it is the first major museum exhibition in the United States to focus on the concept of queer abstraction, but also because it takes abstraction seriously as a queer tactic that is both shared and multiple.
Queer Eye on Canvas
At the same time, we see diverse deployments of abstraction that challenge any singular definition. The exhibition catalogue is also a notable contribution for its balance of differing interpretive models. Queer abstraction describes a driving force in queer art practice, but—as this exhibition makes clear—it is certainly not a singular style, and it prompts multiple interpretive approaches.
I like to think of it as a tactic for refusing straightforward representation, so I am sometimes frustrated by readings that position works as implicit representations of bodies, genitals, sex, or some other signifying content this was admittedly my response to some of the interpretive text in the exhibition. Somehow, we still want queer art to give us pictures of bodies and sex acts.
There are plenty of other artworks that do this, so why not take abstraction seriously as anti-representational? Ships to:. This amount is subject to change until you make payment. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees.
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Learn more - opens in a new window or tab. There are 3 items available. Please enter a number less than or equal to 3. The gay ghosts and sports fans are thoroughly enjoying themselves in the same space, but in different ways—the former intently locking eyes, the latter cheering at screens. That is empathy. There is a huge fear around facing the history of our whiteness and the position that it gives us now, which is only possible if it holds other people back.
The painting depicts a fulfilling sexual encounter between queer black men, a necessary representation of a marginalized community, which Chase explores in the majority of his oeuvre. The prostate is an interior world of pleasure that most people are denying themselves. Anthony Cudahy Anthony Cudahy sourced the central image for his painting Everard stage from news footage of a fire that devastated the Everard Baths, a crucial meeting space for the New York queer community for much of the 20th century.
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The three men on the stage—the physical embodiment of a support structure—serve as both the fundamental narrative of the painting and a symbol of the importance of queer safety networks, a theme Cudahy relates to sentinel theory, which claims that specific individuals in a species have evolved to remain awake in the evening hours to protect those who are sleeping. The relationship between the figures is not clear. There is warmth and love, the exact terms of which are not defined. The painting contains enough details to suggest the figures are at ease in a safe space but remains open enough to allow for multiple readings of their relationships.
The structure of the painted space is just as open—the sofa is a cloud bleeding into the figures, made even more opaque in contrast to the carpet, where the empty bowl reads more like an absence than an object with weight.
These paintings echo the way I see my life right now. Some aspects are finely honed, and the rest is very open.
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Zoe Walsh Planes of cyan, magenta and yellow float within an infinite white void, intersecting to create boldly-hued figures, architecture and spaces of pure abstraction. Two embracing figures repeat in different forms, hovering somewhere between reflection, shadow and the material. Taking cues from the ways in which Warhol used silk screen techniques to deconstruct glamour and celebrity, Walsh turns to highly constructed images of gender and sexuality, namely photographs of actors on the set of the gay porn Ramcharger.