Irreverent: ‘A Celebration of Censorship’ at Leslie Lohman in New York City

Image: Alma Lopez, "Our Lady," 1999, digital print, 17.5 x 14 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Image: Alma Lopez, “Our Lady,” 1999, digital print, 17.5 x 14 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Inspired by the creative and activist responses to the  censorship of Robert Mapplethorpe’s art in the 1980s and 1990s and the more recent withdrawal of David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly from the National Portrait Gallery in 2010, Irreverent explores how sexuality has been, and continues to be, used as a tool to prohibit LGBT cultural artwork. Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian says, “The focus of this exhibition will be the work which has been excluded from other mainstream institutions due to its gay content. Going back to the ‘Culture Wars’ of the 1980s, the exhibition landscape has changed as certain works of art have been excluded because they were considered ‘offensive’ or ‘too risky.’ While in some ways we live in a time which appears more tolerant, exclusion of artwork, and certain facts about some artists, are still excluded because of the person’s sexual orientation.” Work in the exhibition will span more than three decades and will tell numerous stories of intentional exclusion of works, as well as acts of violence and vandalism. In all, the exhibition will feature the work of seventeen artists. It will depict approximately a dozen episodes of exclusion and censorship.

Catch the event at Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City from February 13-April 19.

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