New York: HIDE/SEEK at Brooklyn Museum through February 12, 2012

January 30th, 2012

Robert Rauschenberg, Canto XIV [from XXXIV Drawings for Dante’s Inferno (including KAR)] (1959–1960)

HIDE/SEEK, the controversial exhibition that was first featured at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, is now on view at The Brooklyn Museum. Exploring issues of gender, sexual identity, concealment, and transgression in modern America, it simultaneously presents both a eulogy for the irreversible past and a radiant hope for the present and future. The works subtly meditate on universal themes of love, companionship, interaction, conversation, transience, transformation, dissolution, loss, and death.

Installation view

Minor White, Tom Murphy (San Francisco) (1948)

The collection of work reaches back to the late 1800s, expressing tenderness toward lovers codified in paintings, songs, and photographs. There are several highly-political works that defied the antagonism from conservative groups towards the LGBT communities, especially through the AIDS crisis during the 1980s and ’90s. By making use of disguises, symbolism, institutional critique, and abstraction, the artists create an ulterior narrative, many times foreign to the common spectator, allowing for the infiltration of many of these works in the artistic canon of the times.

Installation view

Cass Bird, I Look Just Like My Daddy (2004)

Peter Hujar, Susan Sontag (1975)

Beauford Delaney, James Baldwin (1963)

Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (circa 1925)

George Wesley Bellows, Riverfront No.1 (1915)

Romaine Brooks, Self-Portrait (1923)

Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins, Walt Whitman (1891)

AA Bronson, Felix (1994)

– M. Silva

Related Links:

Exhibition Site [Brooklyn Museum]
Previous Exhibition Site [National Portrait Gallery]
This Gay American Life, in Code or in Your Face [NY Times]
Mostly Hidden at Hide/Seek [Artnet]