Be Seen: Portrait Photography Since Stonewall
June 22 – September 15, 2019
The 1969 Stonewall riots are viewed as an important turning point in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. Be Seen explores how artists have used portrait photography to challenge, subvert, and play with societal norms of gender and sexuality. In the past 50 years, photographers have documented the experiences of the queer community. They have also examined how gender identity and sexual orientation were viewed historically and how they are constructed today. For many of the artists in Be Seen, gender is not simply something we are, but something we perform. Just as the subjects of these photographs “pose” for the camera, so too do we perform our gender through the clothes we wear and how we interact with others.
Be Seen features twenty-four artists including Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar, Robert Mapplethorpe, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Mickalene Thomas.
Sustaining support for the Wadsworth Atheneum provided by Newman’s Own Foundation and the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign.
Images: Mickalene Thomas, Racquel with Les Trois Femmes, 2018. Chromogenic print. © Mickalene Thomas. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson; Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Study Reflecting Dureau (0X5A1227), 2017. Archival pigment print. © Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Courtesy of the artist; Catherine Opie, Pig Pen, 1993. Chromogenic print. © Catherine Opie. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul.