While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
Start with some black lines drawn on a piece of paper. Cut them up. Rearrange them. Collage the scraps onto canvas and add paint. Voila, art! Sounds simple, right? The type of work that a casual observer might see in a museum and say, "My kindergartner could do that." Except that we'd like to see the kindergartner who could create paintings with the kind of crackling kinetic energy that Judith Foosaner does using that exact collage-and-paint technique. The seven recent paintings the local artist has on display in the show "Breaking and Entering" don't have a lick of color in them beyond black and white, but with that deceptively simple palette, Foosaner crafts abstractions that have the power and flow of Asian calligraphy (one of her major inspirations). The shapes in her pieces Remain and Edge seem to tumble down the length of their tall canvases, picking up speed as they go, while the paintings in the "Breaking and Entering" suite possess an imposing physicality whether on surfaces large or small. With a few very notable exceptions, abstract expressionism has historically been a man's world, but Foosaner carves out a place for herself with work that is reminiscent of the lyricism of another great female abstractionist, Lee Krasner. Like Krasner, Foosaner knows exactly where she wants to put her lines.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: July 7. Continues through Aug. 24, 2012