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Columbus Museum of Art opens 'Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989'
Tseng Kwong Chi, Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat collaboration (New York). 1985. C print. 30 x 30 inches (76.20 x 76.20 cm). © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.

COLUMBUS, OH.- Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, and organized by the Columbus Museum of Art, Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 is a long-awaited and groundbreaking survey that features more than 200 works of art and related visual materials exploring the impact of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) liberation movement on the art world. The exhibition is the first national museum show of its kind to survey the impact of LGBTQ liberation on the visual arts and is the largest touring art exhibition in North America commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Monumental in scope and ambition, Art after Stonewall is on view in Columbus from March 6-May 31, 2020, having debuted in 2019 in New York City before traveling to The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum in Miami.

“Columbus Museum of Art was proud to debut this historic exhibition in New York City. We are eager to bring this acclaimed show home to audiences in Columbus and throughout Ohio and the Midwest,” said Nannette V. Maciejunes, executive director of the Columbus Museum of Art.

The Stonewall Uprising followed a police raid on The Stonewall Inn, a mafia-run bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, in the early morning of June 28, 1969. The ensuing six days of protests and clashes with law enforcement served as a catalyst for LGBTQ liberation movements worldwide. These protests, in historian Martin Duberman’s words, “are now generally taken to mark the birth of the modern gay and lesbian political movement… As such, ‘Stonewall’ has become an empowering symbol of global proportions.” Much has been written on the legacy of the LGBTQ movement in American society and culture, yet 50 years after Stonewall, many of the key artists in that story remain little known and undervalued. Bringing together works by a remarkably diverse group of artists and activists who lived and worked at the intersections of avant-garde art worlds, radical political movements and profound social change, Art after Stonewall is a testament to their spirit of fearlessness, joy and boundless creativity.

Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 focuses on both the work of openly LGBTQ artists — including David Hockney, Harmony Hammond, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Tseng Kwong-Chi, Robert Gober, Louise Fishman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Greer Lankton, David Wojnarowicz, Lyle Ashton Harris, Catherine Opie, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Martin Wong, Vaginal Davis and Scott Burton — as well as the practices of straight-identified artists seeking engagement with queer subcultures, such as Alice Neel, Vito Acconci, Lynda Benglis, Judy Chicago, Barkley L. Hendricks, Gordon Matta-Clark and Louise Bourgeois. The exhibition highlights a wide array of conceptual, performance, film and video art, as well as photography, painting, sculpture and music, along with historical documents and images taken from magazines and newspapers.

“Art after Stonewall demonstrates how art is action,” said Jonathan Weinberg, guest curator. “Many of the works in the exhibition inspired resistance to injustice and even helped to change government policies that impact gender discrimination and health care.”

Art after Stonewall is also a reflection of CMA’s commitment to the Central Ohio LGBTQ community. It is one of the nation’s largest, ranking in the top 15 of the nation’s 50 large metropolitan areas and boasting the second largest annual Pride Parade in the Midwest. In 2018, CMA launched Loud & Proud, an LGBTQ and Allied membership designed to increase the museum’s inclusivity and to provide benefits and programs that resonate with the LGBTQ community.

Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 is organized by the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. The exhibition is curated by artist and art historian Jonathan Weinberg, curator of the Maurice Sendak Foundation; Tyler Cann, CMA’s head of exhibitions and Pizzuti curator of contemporary art; Drew Sawyer, the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian curator of photography at the Brooklyn Museum (formerly associate curator of photography at CMA) and Daniel Marcus, Roy Lichtenstein curatorial fellow at CMA. The exhibition debuted in New York City at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University and Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (April 19-July 21, 2019), before being presented at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami, Florida (Sept. 14, 2019-Jan. 6, 2020).

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 300-page catalogue with essays by more than 20 established and emerging scholars and artists, including Anna Conlan, Andrew Durbin, Harmony Hammond, Richard Meyer, Alpesh Patel, Flavia Rando, Christopher Reed, Chris Vargas and Margaret Vendreyes. The catalogue is published by Rizzoli Electa.

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