The de rigeur spring break weekend for San Franciscans this year is a trip north to Tacoma, Washington for the only West Coast showing of HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. And LGBT travelers planning to visit the Bay Area should consider adding a day or two to their trip to take advantage of a rare opportunity.
Running from March 7 to June 10, the landmark exhibition views the history of American art from the 1880s to the present through a keenly focused lavender lens. Curators Jonathan Katz and David Ward’s exhibition notes and labels decode references to gay sexuality and romance that have traditionally been tiptoed around by art historians loathe to acknowledge the homosexual within the canonical. The veil is removed from—and important social context restored to—works by artists including Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keefe, Charles Henry DeMuth, Romaine Brooks, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg. The exhibition also explores the slow emergence of more overt references to gay sexuality and culture in art, in works by Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, and others. The Tacoma Museum is also offering an extensive series of talks and guided tours to enrich attendees’ experience.
Co-curator Katz talks about the exhibit in a fascinating video after the jump.