‘Art After Stonewall’ opens Sept. 14 at Miami’s Frost Art Museum

Tseng Kwong Chi, ‘Andy Warhol Jean-Michel Basquiat Collaboration (New York),’ 1985. C print, 30 x 30in. Copyright Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.

MIAMI – As celebrants across the nation honor the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall Uprisings, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU announces that Miami will be one of only three cities in the U.S. to host Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989. The major exhibition opens in Miami on September 14 and runs through January 5. Due to its monumental size and scope – more than 200 artworks – the show will encompass the entire second floor of the museum, including the Frost Art Museum’s Grand Galleries.

Art after Stonewall will headline Miami’s Art Basel in December: when the global spotlight shines on this city for one of the world’s leading art fairs, attracting 70,000+ collectors, cultural leaders, artists and media influencers from around the world. This is the first national museum show of its kind to survey the impact of the LGBTQ civil rights movement on visual culture, during the pivotal two decades after the Stonewall Riots, as the first Pride marches took flight ― a bold visual history of twenty years in American queer life.

“When the police raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, that night’s events changed the course of American history. Art after Stonewall brings to light the evolution of the modern LGBT movement and its undeniable impact on the art world,” said Dr. Jordana Pomeroy, the Director of the Frost Art Museum FIU. “The exhibition acknowledges the guts and grit of these artists, gay and straight, to make declarative and public visual statements about gender and sexuality in a predominantly homophobic world. The Frost Art Museum FIU is honored and delighted to bring to Miami the tour de force Art after Stonewall, which encompasses the passion, energy, and excitement that inspired the art world at this time.”

Greg Day, ‘Stephen Varble at the 12th Annual Avant-Garde Festival, 1975/2018. Digital print. Copyright and courtesy of the artist

The Miami presentation of Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989 will be the first time the entire exhibition will be presented under one roof, because the previous showing in New York was split up between two venues. More than 200 works ─ photographs, paintings, sculpture, film clips, video, music, performance pieces, plus historical documents and images taken from magazines, newspapers and television ̶ will be on view at the Frost. The exhibition presents the work of openly LGBTQ artists alongside other artists who also engaged with the emerging queer subcultures, between 1969 and 1989.

The Stonewall Riots are considered a historic flash-point for the LGBTQ movement, and the first two decades of art-making that immediately followed the uprising have never been explored this way before. This exhibition was first presented in New York, at two venues: the Leslie-Lohman Museum and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery (recently on view from April through July). The exhibition travels next to Miami for Art Basel season, at the Frost Art Museum FIU (Sept. 14, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020). The show will then travel to the Columbus Museum of Art (March 6 – May 31, 2020).

This 20-year period blazed with new creativity from these communities. These artists cleared a path through uncharted cultural territories, across intersections of avant-garde art worlds, radical political movements, and profound social change. The exhibition was organized by the Columbus Museum of Art and features seven sections: Coming Out, Sexual Outlaws, The Uses of the Erotic, Gender and Body, Things are Queer, AIDS and Activism, and We’re Here. The show was curated by the artist and art historian Jonathan Weinberg, with Daniel Marcus and Drew Sawyer. “Art after Stonewall is all about using art for empowerment and community, making visible queer identities in a myriad of fabulous forms,” said Jonathan Weinberg.

The list of trailblazing artists includes:

Vito Acconci, Laura Aguilar, Diane Arbus, Lyle Ashton Harris, Judith F. Baca, Don Bachardy, Lynda Benglis, JEB (Joan E. Biren), Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Lenore Chinn, Arch Connelly, Tee A. Corinne, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Karen Finley, Louise Fishman, Nan Goldin, Michela Griffo, Sunil Gupta, Barbara Hammer, Harmony Hammond, Keith Haring, David Hockney, Peter Hujar, Holly Hughes, Tseng Kwong Chi, Greer Lankton, Annie Leibovitz, Christopher Makos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frank Moore, Alice Neel, Catherine Opie, Jack Pierson, Marlon T. Riggs, Jack Smith, Joan Snyder, Carmelita Tropicana, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, and Martin Wong, among others.

Although much has been written on the impact of the LGBTQ movement on American society, 50 years after Stonewall many key artists are still relatively unknown and are brought to light.

Lola Flash, ‘AIDS Quilt, 1987. Dye-infused pigment print on coated aluminum. Copyright and courtesy of the artist

The Miami Connections in Art after Stonewall

Some of the artists included in Art after Stonewall had Miami connections, including Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Martin Kreloff. The work by Kreloff featured in the show is the poster for the very first White Party fundraiser for AIDS, held in Miami in 1985. The history-making idea for the White Party AIDS fundraiser was hatched by Kreloff and friends in Miami, and became an inspiration for communities nationwide to raise much needed funds to help those suffering from the epidemic. The work by Gonzalez-Torres also confronted the AIDS crisis: a haunting billboard created by the artist in 1989 that ran for six months above the site of the Stonewall Riots, informing viewers streaming along NY’s busy Seventh Avenue about the need for activism.

Celebrate Orgullo Fashion Gala: Benefitting Unity Coalition | Coalición Unida

The museum will host October 12 one of Miami’s most highly anticipated LGBTQ events of the year: the annual Gala benefiting Unity Coalition | Coalición Unida. Focusing on inclusiveness towards the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ communities, the museum is partnering during the run of the exhibition with Unity Coalition | Coalición Unida. The community organization is recognized as one of the nation’s leading advocacy groups of its kind, especially for its cutting-edge programs for Latinx, Hispanic and people of color who are LGBTQ, and for spearheading innovative cultural initiatives for the Transgender, gender nonconforming, queer, millennial and centennial communities. Unity Coalition | Coalición Unida will integrate its programming with the museum’s exhibition, during its 9th annual Celebrate ORGULLO Festival, Miami’s premier Hispanic LGBTQ Pride Festival offered every October.

The Frost is part of Florida International University, home to one of the country’s most diverse student populations. The Frost is also working closely to integrate the exhibition with FIU’s LGBTQA Initiatives. The on-campus group promotes educational, social, and resource programs and services to meet the needs of LGBTQ students.

Miami’s Contributions to the LGBTQ Movement

The museum has received a groundswell of community support to bring this exhibition to South Florida. This exhibition has been made possible at the Frost Art Museum FIU by Bank of America and the Funding Arts Network. Additional support has been generously provided by Our Fund, an LGBT Community Foundation, and the Art after Stonewall Circle of Friends.

At the national level, major support for the exhibition is provided by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Keith Haring Foundation, Inc. Additional support provided by Jeff Chaddock & Mark Morrow; Envisage Wealth; Tom W. Davis; Equitas Health; Prizm; Lynn Greer & Stevie Walton & the Women’s Collective; John & Michaella Havens and Parker Havens & Dean Panik, in honor of Barbara Havens; D. Scott Owens & Kevin Kowalski; Harlan Robins & Shawn Shear; Dickinson Wright PLLC; and John L. Wirchanski.

The show is accompanied by a 300-page catalog with essays by more than 20 established and emerging scholars as well as entries by artists.

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