Extended to July: "The Piers: Art and Sex along the New York Waterfront"
NEW YORK, NY - "The Piers: Art and Sex along the New York Waterfront" is the first museum exhibition to focus exclusively on the uses of the Hudson River docks by artists and a newly emerging gay subculture. It presents over 70 works of art that demonstrate how the gay liberation movement--spurred by the 1969 Stonewall riots--transformed the cultural and social landscape of New York.
Between 1971 and 1983, the piers were the site of an enormous range of works by artists as different as Acconci and Peter Hujar, Shelley Seccombe and Tava, Matta-Clark and Arthur Tress. Many of these same dilapidated structures were a locus for gay men to sunbathe naked, cruise and have sex.
At the edge of Greenwich Village, this "arena for sexual theater," became the backdrop for elaborate photographic tableaus by Fink, Stanley Stellar and Tress. The Italian filmmaker Ivan Galietti saw the piers as an updated version of the ruins of Pompeii. These same ruins provided abackdrop for Jack Smith to perform Sinbad Glick for Uzí Parnes’s camera.
The New York Piers, where many gay New Yorkers gathered in the late 1960s and 1970s, where these new sexual freedoms were often played out, became the crossroads for an emerging gay subculture and for artists of that period.
For the first time such seminal works of the New York avant-garde as Vito Acconci’s Untitled Project for Pier 17, Gordon Matta-Clark’s, Day’s End and David Wojnarowicz’s series Arthur Rimbaud in New York, will be shown alongside little known photographs of the gay cruising scene by Leonard Fink, Frank Hallam, Lee Snider, and Rich Wandel.
The exhibition, curated by Jonathan Weinberg and Darren Jones, is now showing at the Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and has been extended through the 7th of July, 2012 - which means that every LGBT person in NYC for Pride will now have an opportunity to witness this historic retrospective.
This article is part of our "Summer 2012" series. Want to read more?
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