“Closet to Quarantine: Queer Art Then and Now”

9th September 2021, 12:00 am

Date(s) - 9th Sep 2021 - 6th Nov 2021
All Day

Childs Gallery



A reception will take place on Saturday 18th September, 4 – 7p.

In accordance with the city of Boston’s mask mandate, masks will be required for entry into the gallery. During the reception masks may be removed only when actively drinking. Thanks to clients, guests, and friends for their cooperation and understanding.

STUART SANDFORD The Prisoner, 2021

This exhibition connects past and present artistic expressions of Queer experience. The exhibition spans the arc of Queer history, from taboo, to revolutionary, to accepted and celebrated, featuring works by contemporary LGBTQ+ artists alongside their historical antecedents.

Closet to Quarantine: Queer Art Then and Now is inspired by the quarantine-era Instagram account of the gallery’s current owner, Richard Baiano (@artdealerboston). During the Covid-19 quarantine, Baiano posted historical and contemporary art by LGBTQ+ artists under the hashtag #queerartthenandnow as a way to develop a digital community, while also highlighting Queer artists throughout history. Discovering artists digitally, through social media, has been an exciting deviation from the gallery’s usual approach. With its low barriers to entry, social media allows artists and audiences to connect more easily, giving access to those who may not otherwise have it, particularly historically marginalized groups like the LGBTQ+ community.

The current exhibition is an extension of this project, bringing together examples of historical Queer art with work by contemporary LGBTQ+ artists, many of whom were discovered via social media and the #queerartthenandnow hashtag. The title Closet to Quarantine refers generally to the arc of Queer history, but also to the shared themes of isolation and visibility across this history. The forced confinement of the Covid-19 quarantine has been particularly difficult for some members of the LGBTQ+ community, a group which has long fought for visibility and acceptance. In many ways, the physical and social isolation of this period echoes the isolation of historical Queer experience (albeit without the same stigma). Throughout the pandemic, social media has served as an important antidote to this isolation, acting as a vital outlet for connection and creative expression.

Many of the themes expressed by the contemporary artists in this exhibition mirror those found in historical Queer art. Queer themes in art can be broadly understood as a progression from taboo, to revolutionary, to acceptance and celebration. For the greater part of the 20th century, Homosexuality was still considered taboo. As a result, Queer art has been shaped by both the need to conceal references to Queer identity, and the desire for increased visibility and acceptance.

Artists in the exhibition include:

Hannah Barrett, Richmond Barthé, Robert Bliss, Paul Cadmus, Rick Castro, Felipe Chavez, Opal DeRuvo, Rubén Esparza, Jared French, Andrew Sedgwick Guth, Don Joint, Mike Kuchar, Emily Lombardo, Eric Lotzer, George Platt Lynes, John MacConnell, Anthony Moore, Ben Norris, Stuart Sandford, Margaret Rose Vendryes, Andy Warhol, Sara Zielinski

Group exhibition at Childs Gallery

  The gallery has long offered works by LGBTQ+ artists, including Richmond Barthé, Paul Cadmus, and Ben Norris, to name just a few. Alongside its other offerings, Childs Gallery has actively cultivated a focus on queer-interest art within its collection. Childs Gallery, established in 1937, and the longest continually operating fine art gallery on Newbury… View Article

Published: 9th September 2021

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