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FOUND: Queer Archaeology; Queer Abstraction

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FOUND: Queer Archaeology; Queer Abstraction

 


Gonzalo
Robert Lucy, Sheba, 2008, Oil on linen, 36 x 30 in.
Collection of Damon Gorrie and Stephanie Watson
Copyright the artist


FOUND: Queer Archaeology; Queer Abstraction
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art explores concepts of identity and queer archaeology through contemporary abstraction

Curated by Avram Finkelstein
June 10 – September 10, 2017

Public Opening & Block Party: June 10, 1 – 4 PM
26 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013

"To be queer is to be an archaeologist. In order to find traces of ourselves in a world that prefers we be hidden, we excavate, sifting through our cultural landscape for ancestral signs, oftentimes as a matter of survival. FOUND is a survey of artists who treat queer identity like an archaeological dig, and in their quest for evidence of a queer footprint, they snap twigs along the trail, mapping their way in the process."
– Avram Finkelstein, Curator


May 19, 2017 (New York, NY) – The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is pleased to announce their upcoming exhibition FOUND: Queer Archaeology; Queer Abstraction on view June 10 - September 10, 2017 and curated by Avram Finkelstein, founding member of the Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives. Coinciding with this exhibition, the Museum will debut the new QueerPower façade commission in early June 2017 designed by the Silence=Death Collective, and will honor this collective at their annual Summer Benefit on June 8 from 6 – 9 pm.

FOUND surveys the work of 27 contemporary artists as well as ephemera from Greer Lankton. The work on view examines queer identity utilizing the tools of abstraction, and the exhibition design and installation take inspiration from the concept of the artist's workshop as a space for excavation and inquiry. The exhibition begins with works depicting the inescapable stand-in for selfhood, the body, as reimagined by a group of artists intent on dismantling it. Here artists including Geoffrey Chadsey, Troy Michie, Rodrigo Moreira, Robert Lucy, and Frederick Weston survey notions of gender, race and class through depictions of human form.

The second grouping in this exhibition includes the work of Eve Fowler, LJ Roberts, Karen Heagle, Matt Lipps, and Angela Dufresne, which examines images of queerness within the canon of art history.


The third grouping of works in this exhibition presents works concerned with negative mark-making—incision, refusal, and erasure, all gestures of counter-inscription through the works of Ken Gonzales-Day, Carrie Yamaoka, Lucas Michael, Nancy Brooks Brody, and Anthony Goicolea.

 

The fourth grouping of works by artists Sam Gordon, Maika'i Tubbs, Alyse Ronayne, Brian Christopher Glaser, Jacob Robichaux, Doron Langberg, and Gaye Chan examine notions of detritus thorough the exploration of the generative potential of the things we discard, and hints at what is perhaps the queerest gesture of all, transformation.
"Avram's brilliant curatorial vision for this timely exhibition captures the zeitgeist of our times," said Gonzalo Casals, Director of Leslie-Lohman. "As ideas of identities around the LGBTQ construct become more nuanced and intersectional, FOUND is a much needed survey on queerness that mirrors the need of LGBTQ contemporary artists to look back as they move forward."

 

The final section of the exhibition suggests meta-visions of the ways personal and social identity can be layered, and sometimes placed in conflict through the works of Omar Mismar, Buzz Slutzky, Boris Torres, Maia Cruz Palileo, Pamela Sneed, and ephemera from Greer Lankton.

 

Through these five specific contemporary observations of queerness, FOUND uncovers queerness depicted through images of the alternatively sited body, opening the doors to a queer abstraction.

 

"Avram's brilliant curatorial vision for this timely exhibition captures the zeitgeist of our times," said Gonzalo Casals, Director of Leslie-Lohman. "As ideas of identities around the LGBTQ construct become more nuanced and intersectional, FOUND is a much needed survey on queerness that mirrors the need of LGBTQ contemporary artists to look back as they move forward."

This exhibition opens to the public on June 10 from 1 – 4 pm in conjunction with a block party hosting various food truck vendors, youth art fair from GSA MS 447 (Gender & Sexualities Alliance at The Math & Science Exploratory School), family activities, and music. Responding to the newly installed QUEERPOWER façade commission, Pamela Sneed, renowned poet, writer, and actress, will curate and host performances by Heather Johnson, the author of Survival Guide For Queer Black Youth; Carmelita Tropicana, who has been performing in New York’s downtown arts scene since the 1980s; and Ishmael Houston-Jones, one of contemporary dance’s most vital improvisers, collaborators, and contributors.

QueerPower Façade Commission


Coinciding with the opening of FOUND, Leslie-Lohman Museum will launch the new QueerPower façade commission in early June 2017. Each year, the Museum will commission an artist or group of artists to create work that will cover the façade of the Museum.

To inaugurate this initiative, the Museum will feature a site-specific installation by the Silence=Death Collective, adapting the iconic poster used by Act Up during the AIDS Pandemic in the 1980s calling attention to the lack of action by the United States government. The Collective will reorganize the iconic elements of the poster and contextualize the message with language that addresses the contemporary civil rights issues faced by the LGBTQ community.

"Now more than ever, the powerful message behind the Silence=Death poster continues to inspire and empower us. We are honored to become a platform for the work of these artists/activists, and we are thrilled that the façade of our Museum will broadcast this powerful message to New York and beyond.
#QueerPower," said Casals.

Members of the Collective: Avram Finkelstein, Brian Howard, Charles Kreloff, Christopher Lione, Jorge Socarras, and Oliver Johnston (d. 1990).


Summer Benefit


Leslie-Lohman Museum is pleased to host their annual Summer Benefit to celebrate the opening of FOUND and the launch of QUEERPOWER on June 8 from 6–9pm, taking place at the Museum. Tickets are available for purchase here. To request a press invitation, please contact Thomas Dewey Davis at SUTTON

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ABOUT AVRAM FINKELSTEIN (CURATOR)
Avram Finkelstein is a founding member of the Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives. He has work in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum, and Brooklyn Museum. He is featured in the artist oral history project at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, and his book for UC Press, After Silence: A History of AIDS Through Its Images is due out in November 2017.

ABOUT THE LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM OF GAY AND LESBIAN ART
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first and only dedicated LGBTQ art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve LGBTQ art, and foster the artists who create it. The Museum has a permanent collection of over 30,000 objects, publishes an art newsletter The Archive, and houses a research library. The Leslie-Lohman Museum embraces the rich creative history of the gay and lesbian art community by educating, informing, inspiring, entertaining, and challenging all who enter its doors.

The Museum is located at 26 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Admission is free, and hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12-6 pm, and Thursday, 12-8 pm. The Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday and all major holidays. The Museum can be reached at 212-431-2609. For more information, go to LeslieLohman.org.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:
Thomas Dewey Davis
SUTTON
thomas@suttonpr.com

+1 212 202 3402

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