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arts

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
American Art: Gay Male, 1900-1969  
 
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David Hockney, who immigrated permanently to America in 1963, painted lyrical portraits of gay couples and individuals. Both in depictions of incidents from everyday life (such as Domestic Scene, Los Angeles, 1963), in portraits of friends such as Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, and in commissioned portraits (such as The Conversation, showing Henry Geldzahler and Raymond Foy, 1980), Hockney subtly revealed the intimacies and complexities of committed relationships. In these works, the (homo)sexuality of the subjects is evident, but it is not emphasized.

Settling permanently in California, Hockney enjoyed painting scenes of beautiful youths lounging around and swimming in pools (for example, Le Plongeur, 1978, among many other pieces). Although ultimately inspired by homoerotic desire, Hockney managed to infuse these works with a generalized sensuality, which can be enjoyed by viewers of divergent sexual orientations. By creating homoerotic images that could appeal to mainstream audiences, Hockney initiated a new phase of gay art.

Sponsor Message.

Richard G. Mann

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   Related Entries
  
arts >> Overview:  African-American and African Diaspora Art

Gay and lesbian artists of the African Diaspora have recently begun to explore issues specific to gender and sexuality; often relying on self-portraiture, they address homophobia and racism as well as desire and longing.

literature >> Overview:  The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.

arts >> Overview:  Patronage II: The Western World since 1900

Patronage--the sponsorship of artists and the commissioning of works from them--has remained a significant factor in the creation of queer visual culture in the modern era.

arts >> Overview:  Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall

Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.

arts >> Bachardy, Don

American artist Don Bachardy, the long-time companion of novelist Christopher Isherwood, has achieved renown in his own right for his nudes and celebrity portraits, which honestly convey the personalities of his sitters.

arts >> Bess, Forrest

Artist Forrest Bess was a mystic who sought to fuse male and female in his life and work; in small abstract pieces, he represented his visions, which, he believed, contained the secret of immortality.

arts >> Cadmus, Paul

American painter Paul Cadmus is best known for the satiric innocence of his frequently censored paintings of burly men in skin-tight clothes, but he also created works that celebrate same-sex domesticity.

arts >> Darger, Henry

Now considered one of the most original artists of the last half of the twentieth century, Henry Darger died completely unknown in his native Chicago.

arts >> Day, F. Holland

American intellectual publisher, aesthete, and photographer, F. Holland Day created homoerotic photographs notable for their relation to fin de siècle cultural interests.

arts >> Delaney, Beauford

The pressures of being black and gay in a racist and homophobic society may have ultimately robbed renowned American painter Beauford Delaney of his sanity.

arts >> Demuth, Charles

One of America's first modernist painters, Charles Demuth was also one of the earliest artists in this country to expose his gay identity through forthright, positive depictions of homosexual desire.

arts >> Hartley, Marsden

A central figure in the evolution of modern American art, Marsden Hartley created works that help define the delicate balance between the erotic and the poetic.

arts >> Hockney, David

One of the liveliest and most versatile visual artists of his generation, David Hockney not only has helped break down resistance to the erotic gaze directed at the male body but also has presented gay male couples in domestic--rather than sensational or sexual--images.

arts >> Indiana, Robert

Robert Indiana, best known as the creator of the LOVE series of paintings and sculptures, is an openly gay American artist who has incorporated autobiographical and gay themes within his work.

literature >> Isherwood, Christopher

A major Anglo-American novelist and a pioneer in the gay liberation movement, Christopher Isherwood created gay characters whose homosexuality is a simple given, an integral part of the wholeness of personality and an emblem of their common humanity.

arts >> Johns, Jasper

Known for his iconic yet cryptic paintings, acclaimed American artist Jasper Johns is a key figure in the transition from Modernism to Post-Modernism.

arts >> Kirstein, Lincoln

Although best known for his contributions to the development of American ballet, Lincoln Kirstein was an important figure in the shaping of twentieth-century American culture generally.

arts >> Leyendecker, Joseph C.

The leading illustrator of his day, J. C. Leyendecker created images (some of them of his lover Charles Beach, the "Arrow Man") that helped define American standards of beauty and sophistication from the 1890s to the 1940s.

arts >> Lynes, George Platt

American photographer George Platt Lynes made his fame as a fashion and portrait photographer, but his greatest work may have been his dance images and male nudes.

arts >> Porter, Fairfield

Bisexual artist Fairfield Porter is recognized as a major twentieth-century American Intimist painter.

arts >> Quaintance, George

An influential figure in a unique American style of art, George Quaintance was a pioneer of male physique painting.

arts >> Rauschenberg, Robert

One of the most prolific and innovative artists of the late twentieth century, Robert Rauschenberg was at the core of a group of interdisciplinary artists who revolutionized American art.

arts >> Rivers, Larry

One of the pioneers of Pop Art, Larry Rivers was a prolific artist, sculptor, and jazz musician; although he did not identify as a bisexual, the twice-married artist had significant same-sex sexual experience.

arts >> Roberts, Mel

In his 1960s and 1970s images of hikers, bikers, and surfers, photographer and activist Mel Roberts captured the spirit of the California Dream that lured thousands of gay men to the Golden State in search of freedom and opportunity after World War II.

arts >> Teske, Edmund

American photographer Edmund Teske created a distinct and inventive body of work that embraced multiple styles and subjects, from somber urban vistas to intimate, often eroticized, portraits.

arts >> Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen)

Defiantly rejecting the invisibility, homophobia, and indignities of pre-Stonewall life, the men in Tom of Finland's drawings reflect a hyper-masculine, working-class version of homosexual manhood that proved important to the emerging gay rights movement.

literature >> Van Vechten, Carl

The gay novelist, critic, and photographer Carl Van Vechten was especially interested in African-American culture and was an influential patron to many writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

arts >> Warhol, Andy (as artist)

The avatar of Pop Art, Andy Warhol expressed desire in his images of celebrities and flouted traditional notions of masculinity by embracing extravagance, effeminacy, and an obsession with surface appearances.

arts >> Warhol, Andy (as filmmaker)

Although Andy Warhol is generally remembered either for a single film--Sleep (1963)--or for works that he did not actually direct, his contribution to gay cinema is incalculable.

arts >> Wells, Cady

Famous for his watercolor paintings, Henry Cady Wells was also a patron of the arts and an activist citizen of the Santa Fe and Taos art colonies from the 1930s to the 1950s.


    Bibliography
   

Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940. New York: Basic Books, 1994.

Cooper, Emmanuel. Fully Exposed: The Male Nude in Photography. London and New York: Routledge, 1990.

Cooper, Emmanuel. The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge, 1994.

Davis, Whitney, editor. Gay and Lesbian Studies in Art History. New York: Harrington Park Press, 1994.

Dubin, Steven C. Arresting Images: Impolitic Art and Uncivil Actions. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.

Kaiser, Charles. The Gay Metropolis: 1940-1996. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Saslow, James M. Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts. New York: Penguin Putnam, 1999.

Stryker, Susan, and Jim Van Buskirk. Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a Foreword by Armistead Maupin. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1996.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Mann, Richard G.  
    Entry Title: American Art: Gay Male, 1900-1969  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated November 3, 2007  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/am_art_gay_1900_1969.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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