Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community
Exhibition dates: January 17 to March 16, 2014 Public Opening: January 17, 2014 6-8 pm
Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community will be on view January 17 through March 16, 2014 at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Queer Threads, a group show curated by John Chaich, explores notions of aspiration, socialization, and representation within the LGBTQ community through artists employing thread-based craft materials, techniques, and processes.
While many of these artists are internationally recognized in the craft and art communities, this exhibition marks the first time these works have been shown together to specifically highlight their queerness. Comprised from a mix of well-established and emerging talent from across the United States, as well as Argentina, Canada, and South Africa, this exhibition will feature artists Chris Bogia (New York), Melanie Braverman (Massachusetts), Jai Andrew Carrillo (California), Chiachio & Giannone (Argentina), Liz Collins (New York), Ben Cuevas (California), Pierre Fouché (South Africa), James Gobel (California), Jesse Harrod (Virginia), Larry Krone (New York), Rebecca Levi (New York), Aubrey Longley-Cook (Georgia), Aaron McIntosch (Maryland), Allyson Mitchell (Canada), John Thomas Paradiso (Maryland), Sheila Pepe (New York), Maria E. Piñeres (California), Allen Porter (deceased), L. J. Roberts (New York), Sonny Schneider (Denmark), Buzz Slutzky (New York), Nathan Vincent (New York), and Jessica Whitbread (Canada).
Queer Threads will fully activate the Museum’s gallery through felt paintings, yarn drawings, embroidered portraits, knit sculpture, quilted tapestries, and crocheted installations, as well as video. From Nathan Vincent’s life-sized crocheted men’s locker room, to Liz Collin’s oversized knit pride flag based on Gilbert Baker’s 1978 original design, works range from intimate to expansive in scale. From Allyson Mitchell’s found afghans emblazoned with phrases such as “Pride is a Pyramid Scheme,” to James Gobel’s use of felt, acrylic, and yarn to create a portrait of fashion design team Costello Tagliapietra, many of Queer Threads’ artists mix craft technique or materials with traditional mediums, while others fully employ craft processes.
L.J. Roberts, The Queer Houses of Brooklyn in the Three Towns of Breukelen, Boswyck,and Midwout during the 41st Year of the Stonewall Era, (based on a 2010 drawing by Daniel Rosza Lang/Levitsky with 24 illustrations by Buzz Slutzky on printed pin-back buttons), 2011, Poly-fill, acrylic, rayon, Lurex, wool, polyester, cotton, lamé,sequins, and blended fabrics, 138 x 114 x 108 in. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Elaine Reuben. Photo credit: The Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Flowing off the wall to the floor, L.J. Roberts’ The Queer Houses of Brooklyn in the Three Towns of Breukelen, Boswyck and Midwout during the 41st Year of the Stonewall Era, particularly exemplifies the use of craft techniques to explore contemporary queer culture as it incorporates knitting, embroidery, and quilting to create a colorful, multi-textured sculpture mapping queer, cohabitating collectives. With references to the AIDS quilt and ACT UP iconography, the piece honors punk DIY aesthetics and traditional craft, as well as the families we create. This work is on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum who purchased the piece after it was shown in its 2013 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibition.
“The new visions and voices in Queer Threads, uniquely expressed through craft traditions, expand on Leslie-Lohman’s commitment to examining the diversity of the LGBTQ experience through art,” says Hunter O’Hanian, Executive Director. In doing so, Chaich notes, “Using craft to celebrate and critique identity and community is very queer in all senses of the word—unusual, political, and personal.”
A range of guest docents will lead tours of the exhibition, including fashion design team Costello Tagliapietra; and Debbie Stoller, author of the Stitch n’ Bitch Nation series of knitting books and editor-in-chief of BUST magazine, and designer Todd Oldham, creator of the Kid Made Modern series of books and supplies. (*Note: Due to the nature
of the artwork, no food or beverages will be allowed in the Museum during this exhibition.)
John Chaich (curator)
John Chaich is a designer, writer, and curator living in New York City. His recent exhibition, Mixed Messages: A(I)DS, Art & Words, for Visual AIDS debuted to critical acclaim in The New York Times and Artforum before traveling to DC to coincide with the International AIDS Conference. He has written on art and pop culture for BUST and Art & Understanding magazines and has contributed catalogue essays for PPOW Gallery. On the Web and on Twitter: ChaichCreative.
About the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
“…invaluable museum.” Holland Cotter, New York Times, June 2013 Best place for gay culture, Time Out New York: New York’s Best 2012
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the first and only dedicated gay and lesbian art museum in the world with a mission to exhibit and preserve gay and lesbian art, and foster the artists who create it. The Museum has a permanent collection of over 22,000 objects, 6-8 major exhibitions annually, artist talks, film screenings, readings, THE ARCHIVE – a quarterly art newsletter, a membership program, and a research library. The Leslie-Lohman Museum is operated by the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc., a non-profit founded in 1987 by Charles W. Leslie and Fritz Lohman, who have supported gay and lesbian artists for over 30 years. The Leslie-Lohman Museum embraces the rich creative history of the gay and lesbian art community by informing, inspiring, entertaining, and challenging all who enter its doors.
The Museum is located at 26 Wooster Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Admission is free, and hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 12-6 pm, and Thursday, 12-8 pm. The Museum is closed Monday and all major holidays. The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization and is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. The Museum can be reached at 212-431-2609. For more information, go to LeslieLohman.org.