Tate Britain Will Host First Major ‘Queer British Art’ Exhibition. The Exhibition joins major surveys on David Hockney, Oscar Wilde and Dora Carrington at the institution next year.
Tate Britain has announced plans to show the first major ‘Queer British Art’ exhibition next year, to celebrate the 50 years anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. This will be the first major exhibition in Britain to focus on queer British art. It spans the period from the abolition of the death penalty for buggery in 1861 to decriminalisation in 1967 and explores how seismic shifts in gender and sexuality found expression in the arts.
In a statement to the Guardian, curator Clare Barlow explained the reason why Tate unashamedly used the word “queer” in the title of its show. Barlow said: “One of the things we did not want to do was to be picking out sexual or gender identities that people themselves would not have chosen. The term ‘queer’ highlights a whole range of different possibilities.”
“There is definitely a bit of torture and misery in the show,” curator Barlow told the Guardian. “But it will be a show with a lot of quieter moments and really beautiful moments, and art which just celebrates the humdrum, the backdrop to people’s everyday lives, the houses they shared with their lovers. That is often every bit as radical as the stories and court cases we gasp over.”
The exhibition includes major figures, such as Oscar Wilde, and features works by Simeon Solomon, John Singer Sargent, Gluck, Ethel Sands, Duncan Grant, Dora Carrington, Keith Vaughan, David Hockney and Francis Bacon, alongside ephemera and personal photographs. From the playful to the political, the erotic to the domestic, this exhibition showcases the rich diversity of queer British art.
Queer British Art will show at the Tate Britain from April 5 to October 1, 2017