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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 23, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 12
HIDE/SEEK debuts at Tacoma Art Museum
Arts & Entertainment
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HIDE/SEEK debuts at Tacoma Art Museum

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The secret is out - and you're invited. The internationally acclaimed exhibition HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture made its West Coast debut at the Tacoma Art Museum on March 17.

According to Tacoma Art Museum officials, HIDE/SEEK offers an unprecedented survey of nearly 150 years of American art and includes more than 100 works by masters including Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O'Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and more.

'The exhibition charts the under-documented role that sexual identity has played in the making of modern art, and highlights the contributions of Gay and Lesbian artists to American art,' said officials. 'Beginning in the late 19th century with Thomas Eakins' Realist paintings, HIDE/SEEK traces the often coded narrative of sexual desire in art produced throughout the early modern period and up to the present. The exhibition features pieces by canonical figures in American art - including George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Alice Neel, and Berenice Abbott - along with works that openly assert Gay and Lesbian subjects in modern and contemporary art, by artists such as Jess Collins and Tee Corinne.'

In addition to revealing connections between sexual identity and formal developments in modern art, HIDE/SEEK presents artists' responses to the Stonewall riots of 1969, the AIDS epidemic, and postmodern themes of identity, highlighted with major pieces by artists such as AA Bronson, Félix González-Torres, and Annie Leibovitz.

'More than simply documenting a prominent subculture often relegated to the margins of American art, HIDE/SEEK offers a unique survey of more than a century of American portraiture and leads the way toward a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of modern art in America,' said officials.

'It is way past time for mainstream art history to acknowledge the shaping role of sexual difference in modern art,' said The New York Times of the exhibition. 'And HIDE/SEEK, with its many strengths, begins to do so in a persuasively accessible way. Equally important is the need to assess the price that acceptance into history, and into the world, on mainstream terms may exact.'

Officials are asking anyone who would like to support HIDE/SEEK to donate $50 or more, which will make them a year-long member of the museum, rewarding them with a year of free admission for themselves and a guest in addition to other discounts and benefits. To make a donation, visit www.tacomaartmuseum.org.

Tickets are $10 for adults or $8 for students, seniors, and military. Family packages are available at $25 and can be purchased at the museum website.

Some pieces in this exhibition are directed toward adult audiences. Parents and teachers are advised to preview the exhibition.

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