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Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture

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Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture Cover

ISBN13: 9781588342997
ISBN10: 1588342999
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An entirely new interpretation of modern American portraiture based on the history of sexual difference.

Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, companion volume to an exhibition of the same name at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, traces the defining presence of same-sex desire in American portraiture through a seductive selection of more than 140 full-color illustrations, drawings, and portraits from leading American artists. Arcing from the turn of the twentieth century, through the emergence of the modern gay liberation movement in 1969, the tragedies of the AIDS epidemic, and to the present, Hide/Seek openly considers what has long been suppressed or tacitly ignored, even by the most progressive sectors of our society: the influence of gay and lesbian artists in creating American modernism.

Hide/Seek shows how questions of gender and sexual identity dramatically shaped the artistic practices of influential American artists such as Thomas Eakins, Romaine Brooks, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Demuth, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andrew Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, and many more—in addition to artists of more recent works such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Glenn Ligon, Catherine Opie, and Cass Bird. The authors argue that despite the late-nineteenth-century definition and legal codification of the “homosexual,” in reality, questions of sexuality always remained fluid and continually redefined by artists concerned with the act of portrayal. In particular, gay and lesbian artists—of but not fully in the society they portrayed—occupied a position of influential marginality, from which vantage point they crafted innovative and revolutionary ways of painting portraits. Their resistance to society's attempt to proscribe them forced them to develop new visual vocabularies by which to code, disguise, and thereby express their subjects' identities—and also their own.

Bringing together for the first time new scholarship in the history of American sexuality and new research in American portraiture, Hide/Seek charts the heretofore hidden impact of gay and lesbian artists on American art and portraiture and creates the basis for the necessary reassessment of the careers of major American artists—both gay and straight—as well as of portraiture itself.

Book News Annotation:

Offering an extraordinary exploration of American art, in particular the driving force of homosexual consciousness, this oversize volume (9.5x13.5") is published in connection with a 2010 exhibition of the same name at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Katz (director of the visual studies doctoral program, State U. of New York-Buffalo) has long been involved in gay and lesbian studies (he was the nation's first tenured professor in the subject). Ward is a historian affiliated with the National Portrait Gallery. The two combined their efforts to make the exhibition a reality, to select and annotate the images, and to set the context in scholarly essays devoted to the ways in which an understanding of homosexual signs, signals, and attitudes illuminates both what has been represented in American art, and how. They discuss evolving sensibilities since 1870, and investigate American art in terms of identity, social acceptance and rejection, masks and subterfuges, the many forms of representation, and the many artists who have grappled with the theme in one way or another. The exhibition, of course, has been controversial. The clarity and intelligence behind it, and the broadened vision it invites, make this volume (and the exhibition) of fundamental interest to a wide audience. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A landmark examination of iconic and provocative portraits by Warhol and Mapplethorpe, presented side by side and in depth for the first time

Synopsis:

This exciting and original book is the first to consider the work of Warhol and Mapplethorpe together, with a focus on their provocative portraits and self-portraits.

Synopsis:

Andy Warhol (1928andndash;1987) and Robert Mapplethorpe (1946andndash;1989) are well known for significant work in portraiture and self-portraiture that challenged gender roles and notions of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny. This exciting and original book is the first to consider the two artists together, examining the powerful portraits they created during the vibrant and tumultuous era bookended by the Stonewall riots and the AIDS crisis. Several important bodies of work are featured, including Warholandrsquo;s Ladies and Gentlemen series of drag queen portraits and Mapplethorpeandrsquo;s photographs of Patti Smith and of female body builder Lisa Lyon. These are explored alongside numerous other paintings, photographs, and films that demonstrate the artistsandrsquo; engagement with gender, identity, beauty, performance, and sexuality, including their own self-portraits and portraits of one another.

and#160;

Essays trace the convergences and divergences of Warhol and Mapplethorpeandrsquo;s work, and examine the historical context of the artistsandrsquo; projects as well as their lasting impact on contemporary art and queer culture. Firsthand accounts by the artistsandrsquo; collaborators and subjects reveal details into the making and exhibition of some of the works presented here. With an illustrated timeline highlighting key moments in the artistsandrsquo; careers, and more than 90 color plates of their arresting pictures, this book provides a fascinating study of two of the most compelling figures in 20th-century art.

About the Author

Jonathan D. Katz is director of the visual studies doctoral program, State University of New York–Buffalo. Katz founded and directed the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale University and was the founding chair of the Department of Lesbian and Gay Studies at City College of San Francisco, the first department of lesbian and gay studies in the United States. The first tenured professor in gay and lesbian studies in the nation, he has written extensively on postwar American art, culture, and sexuality for a wide range of publications in the United States and Europe. Katz lives in Philadelphia, PA.

David C. Ward is a historian at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of Charles Wilson Peale: Art and Selfhood in the Early Republic and has published articles on a variety of topics in history and culture and on such figures as Hart Crane, Marsden Hartley, Ernest Hemingway, and Gerhard Richter. Ward is also a poet and critic who has been widely published in Anglo-American literary magazines.

Table of Contents

Foreword–Martin E. Sullivan

Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture–Jonathan Katz

CATALOGUE

Before Difference, 1870–1918

New Geographies/New Identities

Abstraction

Postwar America: Accommodation and Resistance

Stonewall and More Modern Identities

Postmodernism

Notes

For Further Reading

Acknowledgments

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Grady Harp, December 19, 2010 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
A Timely Exhibition, Tainted by Continuing Censorship

When the Smithsonian Institution had the courage this year to place in the National Portrait Gallery this exhibition HIDE/SEEK: DIFFERENCE AND DESIRE IN AMERICAN PORTRAITURE the art world applauded. The exhibition aimed to describe how gender and identity could be traced far back in the country's history of creating American portraiture and in doing so break some barriers of controversy that have dissipated with the passage of time. The exhibition was conceived and well-mounted by Jonathan D. Katz and David C. Ward with the idea of combining a timeline of art history within the framework of the same-sex desire from the 'Victorian' era of the turn of the century through the changes accompanying the feminist movement, Stonewall and subsequent gay liberation through the AIDS plague (and the country's response) to the present. Given the fact that Congress has now finally repealed the 'don't ask, don't tell' military restriction it would seem this exhibition is thoughtfully timely. Sadly the spectre of censorship - removing David Wojnarowicz's video "A Fire in My Belly" that momentarily shoed ants crawling over the belly of an inexpensive Mexican crucifix - has diminished the statement of courage made by one of our most important national museums, numbing the impact of the importance of this extraordinary collection of American portrait art.

Thanks to the publication of this rather impressive catalogue for the exhibition, the ideas within the exhibition are now preserved for history. The greeting work as the doors open in the National Portrait Gallery is the beautiful 'Salutat' by Thomas Eakins, a large painting of a near nude male saluting his appreciative all male audience - one of the many works where Eakins depicted his same sex stance in a society that condemned such of his paintings as his famous 'Swimming'. Other artists with like inclinations are included - Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Romaine Brooks, George Bellows, Winslow Homer, Grant Wood, F. Holland Day, JC Leyendecker, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Cadmus, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andrew Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Catherine Opie, Robert Mapplethorpe, Larry Rivers, Cy Twombly, Frank O'Hara, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, Lucas Samaras, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jerome Caja, Alice Neel, David Hockney, Anthony Goicolea, Annie Leibovitz, and many others, including, of course, David Wojnarowicz!

The well researched and well written essays by Katz and Ward relate by word and accompanying images that the artists from the early part of the 20th century treated questions of sexuality as 'fluid, hiding reality behind the demands of society at that time...occupying a safe state of marginality. Their resistance to society's attempt to proscribe them forced them to develop new visual vocabularies by which to code, disguise, and thereby express their subjects' identities--and also their own.'
As the exhibition continues to the present there are many very important works that demonstrate the courage of the creators in a society that is beginning to cope with differences in gender identity. This is an historically important exhibition and the accompanying catalogue is a substantial addition to both art history and gender studies. Highly Recommended.

Grady Harp
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781588342997
Author:
Katz, Jonathan D.
Publisher:
Smithsonian Books (DC)
Author:
istopher Makos
Author:
Pacelli, Maria Luisa
Author:
Makos, Christopher
Author:
Latimer, Tirza True
Author:
Myles, Eileen
Author:
Ward, David C.
Author:
Hickson, Patricia
Author:
Chr
Author:
Fremont, Vincent
Subject:
History - Contemporary (1945- )
Subject:
Gay Studies
Subject:
General Art
Subject:
Sex symbolism.
Subject:
Portraits, American.
Subject:
Subjects & Themes - General
Subject:
Art - General
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20101131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
150 COLOR ILLUS
Pages:
184
Dimensions:
11 x 9.5 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions » Group Shows
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Themes In Art
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General

Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture New Hardcover
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$45.00 In Stock
Product details 184 pages Smithsonian Books - English 9781588342997 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A landmark examination of iconic and provocative portraits by Warhol and Mapplethorpe, presented side by side and in depth for the first time

"Synopsis" by ,
This exciting and original book is the first to consider the work of Warhol and Mapplethorpe together, with a focus on their provocative portraits and self-portraits.

"Synopsis" by ,
Andy Warhol (1928andndash;1987) and Robert Mapplethorpe (1946andndash;1989) are well known for significant work in portraiture and self-portraiture that challenged gender roles and notions of femininity, masculinity, and androgyny. This exciting and original book is the first to consider the two artists together, examining the powerful portraits they created during the vibrant and tumultuous era bookended by the Stonewall riots and the AIDS crisis. Several important bodies of work are featured, including Warholandrsquo;s Ladies and Gentlemen series of drag queen portraits and Mapplethorpeandrsquo;s photographs of Patti Smith and of female body builder Lisa Lyon. These are explored alongside numerous other paintings, photographs, and films that demonstrate the artistsandrsquo; engagement with gender, identity, beauty, performance, and sexuality, including their own self-portraits and portraits of one another.

and#160;

Essays trace the convergences and divergences of Warhol and Mapplethorpeandrsquo;s work, and examine the historical context of the artistsandrsquo; projects as well as their lasting impact on contemporary art and queer culture. Firsthand accounts by the artistsandrsquo; collaborators and subjects reveal details into the making and exhibition of some of the works presented here. With an illustrated timeline highlighting key moments in the artistsandrsquo; careers, and more than 90 color plates of their arresting pictures, this book provides a fascinating study of two of the most compelling figures in 20th-century art.

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