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Special Features Index  

 
Spotlight Twentieth-Century European Visual Artists
 
  A large number of significant European artists focused on queer themes that are crucial in understanding Twentieth-Century European Art.  
 
 
  Louise Abbema Louise Abbéma (1858-1927) was a painter in the Impressionist style as well as an engraver, sculptress, and writer. She is best known for her portraits and genre scenes and for her close relationship with Sarah Bernhardt.  
 
 
  Francis Bacon (1909-1992) is widely recognized as Britain's most important twentieth-century painter. Bacon's beautifully composed works feature violent subject matter that at once repels and attracts. His paintings reflect a universal preoccupation with violence as well as the artist's own fascination with representations of gay male masochism.  
 
 
  Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) is a celebrated British photographer who described himself as a "terrible, terrible homosexualist," though he may be best known for his relationship with actress Greta Garbo.  
 
 
  Baron Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson Berners (1883-1950) was an eccentric British composer, painter, and novelist whose life was a grand performance. Berners lived openly with a much younger man, the equally eccentric Robert Heber-Percy, for more than twenty years.  
 
 
  Tessa Boffin (1962-1993) was a British performance artist and photographer and the first British lesbian artist to produce work in response to the AIDS epidemic. She was a controversial proponent of lesbian sexual freedom and pleasure who celebrated queer gender-fuck as liberating for lesbians.  
 
 
  A sculpture by Arno Breker Arno Breker (1900-1991) was the "Official State Sculptor" of Nazi-era Germany. Many of the muscular nude scenes he created verge on the homoerotic.  
 
 
  Edward Burra (1905-1976), a British illustrator and stage designer, depicted the possibility of gay sexual encounters in his drawings and watercolors of the urban underworld.  
 
 
  Claude Cahun (1894-1954) was a photographer, photo collagist, writer, and translator who is primarily known today for creating images, including self-portraits, that play with concepts of gender.  
 
 
  Dora Carrington Dora Carrington (1893-1932) was an English painter, designer, and decorative artist whose work has recently gained recognition. She is best known for her long relationship with gay writer Lytton Strachey, but she had other affairs with both men and women.  
 
 
  Jean Cocteau by Modigliani Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) was a prolific, outspokenly homosexual poet, novelist, critic, essayist, artist, and filmmaker in his own time and remains a prominent figure in the history of twentieth-century gay and French cultures.  
 
 
  Marcel Duchamp as Rrose Selavy Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Duchamp desired to break down all linguistic, sexual, and social restraints and did so in ways audiences often found shocking. His later work work is often signed "Rrose Sélavy," the name of his feminine alter-ego.  
 
 
  Lili Elbe Lili Elbe (1886-1931) was born Einar Wegener and became a Danish painter of some renown. After she became Lili Elbe, one of the world's first male-to-female transsexuals to undergo sexual reassignment surgery, she abandoned painting altogether.  
 
 
  Erté (Romain de Tirtoff, 1892-1990) was one of the most innovative designers of the twentieth century. He created striking, often homoerotic, art deco fashion designs and lithographs.  
 
 
  Rotimi Fani-Kayode Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955-1989) was one of the most important black photographers of the late twentieth century. He explored important themes of racial and sexual identity and, like many artists living with HIV/AIDS, he addressed his illness directly.  
 
 
  Leonor Fini Léonor Fini (1908-1996) was a bisexual artist whose work emphasized female power and autonomy, an emphasis that may be seen as a response to the patriarchal assumptions of Surrealism.  
 
 
  Gisele Freund Gisèle Freund (1908?-2000) was an accomplished and respected photojournalist, though she is best remembered today as a chronicler of the vibrant bohemian community of artists and writers that made its home in Paris during the 1930s.  
 
 
  A photograph by Wilhelm von Gloeden Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden (1856-1931), one of the earliest gay photographers of the male nude, created images that evoke a dreamy vision of forbidden desire, while also raising questions about sexual tourism and kitsch.  
 
 
  Gluck (Hannah Gluckenstein, 1895-1978) was a British artist who defied the conventions of her class and time, but left her mark on the history of modern art in England.  
 
 
  Duncan Grant Duncan Grant (1885-1978) was a major twentieth-century British artist as well as the sexual catalyst of the Bloomsbury Circle.  
 
 
  Dorothy Hepworth (1898-1978) was a British artist who may have produced most of the art sold under the name of her partner and collaborator Patricia Preece (1900-1971), which received major attention between the World Wars.  
 
 
  Hannah Hoch Hannah Höch (1889-1978) is best known for her photomontages critiquing bourgeois culture. The German bisexual artist embraced a number of artistic movements and styles during her long career including Dada, Surrealism, and non-objective abstraction.  
 
 
  David Hockney David Hockney (b. 1937) is one of the liveliest and most versatile visual artists of his generation. He 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.  
 
 
  The Homomonument The Homomonument in Amsterdam is one of the world's foremost public memorials acknowledging the persecution endured by gay men and lesbians during World War II and throughout history.  
 
 
  Horst P. Horst Horst P. Horst (1906-1999), a German-born American photographer known most widely as simply "Horst," created some of the most memorable images of the mid-twentieth century. Photographers Bruce Weber, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Herb Ritts, among others, were inspired by his highly stylized pictures.  
 
 
  Detail from a painting by Eugene Jansson Eugène Frederik Jansson (1862-1915), sometimes described as Sweden's first gay artist, has only recently begun to receive the international attention that his accomplishments merit.  
 
 
  Tove Jansson Tove Jansson (1914-2001), best known for her series of children's books about the Moomin family of trolls, is considered a national treasure in Finland. She also wrote fiction for adults and was an accomplished artist and illustrator.  
 
 
  Marie Laurencin Marie Laurençin (1883-1956) was a French painter, portrait artist, and set designer, who had a number of affairs with men, but was also associated with the lesbian salons of Gertrude Stein and Natalie Clifford Barney.  
 
 
  Tamara de Lempicka Tamara de Lempicka (1898?-1980) was a Polish-born artist who achieved notoriety and fame several times during her life and remains popular today for her highly sexualized art deco portraits.  
 
 
  Michael Leonard (b. 1933) is Britain's leading photorealist painter. He is accomplished in a number of genres, but his dominant subject is the nude male.  
 
 
  Herbert List (1903-1975) was a German photographer who is best known for his images of young men and boys, which combine eroticism with an avant garde sensibility.  
 
 
  Jeanne Mammen (1890-1976) is one of the most talented artists to emerge from Germany's Weimar epoch. She created some of the most sympathetic depictions of lesbians since Sappho.  
 
 
  John Minton (1917-1957), a British painter and illustrator, was a key member of the 1940s neo-Romantic movement. His work was greatly influenced by his homosexuality.  
 
 
  José Pérez Ocaña (1947-1983), Spanish drag performer and painter, was a fixture on the counter-cultural scene in Barcelona in the 1970s. He was the subject of a milestone film in Spanish cinema, OcaƱa, retrat intermitent, by gay director Ventura Pons.  
 
 
  Pierre et Gilles (founded 1976) are French artists Pierre Commoy (b.1950) and Gilles Blanchard (b. 1953). The romantic and artistic duo create deliberately artificial painted photographs that capture the nuances of modern gay life in complex images that are remarkably unpretentious and accessible.  
 
 
  Filippo De Pisis (1896-1956) was an avant-garde Italian artist best known for his cityscapes, still lifes, and voluptuous male nudes.  
 
 
  Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon Charles Ricketts (1866-1931) and Charles Shannon (1863-1937) were partners in life as well as in art. While pursuing independent careers, they also collaborated on a number of creative projects, including book design.  
 
 
  Annemarie Schwarzenbach (1908-1942) was a Swiss writer and photojournalist who documented social conditions from Afghanistan to Alabama. Her fiction reflected the tormented attachments and recurring loneliness that plagued her short life.  
 
 
  Sonja Sekula (1918-1963) was a Swiss-born artist who created small-scale abstract images with profound emotional power.  
 
 
  Surrealism Surrealism is an artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after the end of World War I. The movement embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.  
 
 
  Pavel Tchelitchew Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957) was a Russian-born painter, sculptor, and set designer who created a number of works that illustrate homoerotic desire.  
 
 
  Wolfgang Tillmans Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968) synthesizes classic photographic genres (still life, portrait, fashion, landscape, abstract) in many of his best works. One of Tillmans' goals is to create work that explodes and expands the received definition of who is acceptable.  
 
 
  Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920-1991) defiantly rejected the invisibility, homophobia, and indignities of pre-Stonewall life in his drawings of hyper-masculine working-class homosexual men. The iconic images proved important to the emerging gay rights movement.  
 
 
  Yannis Tsarouchis Yannis Tsarouchis (1910-1989), a deeply sensual Greek painter, filled his canvases with homoerotic images of vulnerable men and (to a much lesser extent) strong women.  
 
 
  Henry Scott Tuke Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) was a British artist whose works celebrate the beauty of male youth, as well as the artist's lifelong love of the sea, swimming, and sailing.  
 
 
  Keith Vaughan (1912-1977) was a British painter of figures and landscapes in oils and gouache who specialized in the depiction of male nudes in landscape.  
 
 
  Dame Ethel Walker (1861-1951) was a British painter best known for her portraits of women and for a series of works based on generic mythological themes.  
 
 
 

 
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