TAM Brings Hide/Seek Exhibition to the West Coast

25 Feb

How have gender and sexual identity shaped the creation of modern portraiture? Quite profoundly, as seen in an internationally-acclaimed exhibition, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, coming to the Tacoma Art Museum from March 17 – June 10, 2012. Hide/Seek debuted at The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in 2010. Its much anticipated stop at TAM provides the opportunity to share this groundbreaking survey with audiences on the West Coast.

“I Look Just Like My Daddy” by Cass Bird. Collection of the artist.

Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture traces the evolution of sexual identities through a diverse range of artworks including video, paintings, sculptures and photographs. It brings together an unprecedented collection of nearly 150 years of American art representing a range of identities, from exclusively same-sex to exclusively straight. Iconic American artists from Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent in the 1870s to Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keefe, Jasper Johns, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol in the modern era all explored the definition of sexuality and gender as they continually reshaped modern art and as they reflected society’s changing attitudes about the individual’s pursuit of happiness and freedom of expression.

"Susan Sontag" by Peter Hujar. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

“Tacoma Art Museum stands uniquely positioned to present Hide/Seek,” said Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum. “We sit in a diverse and welcoming community that values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. At the museum we see ourselves as a safe place to present works of art that express different points of view.”

"Tom Murphy (San Francisco)" 1948, by Minor White. Princeton University Art Museum

Hide/Seek addresses the impact of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the AIDS epidemic, and the advent of postmodernism and themes of identity in contemporary art. The exhibition continues through the end of the twentieth century with major works by artists including Keith Haring, Glenn Ligon, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Catherine Opie.

“Importantly, these artists spoke through modernism to declare their identities, historically coded but with increasing boldness and positivity,” noted Rock Hushka, TAM Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art. The exhibition will also include David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly, an unfinished film the artist created between 1985 and 1987, which was removed from the National Portrait Gallery exhibition, sparking a national controversy about censorship. Although this video recently was exhibited in institutions in Seattle in response to its censorship, TAM welcomes the opportunity to present it in the context of the exhibition. It will also follow TAM’s recent presentation It Gets Better: 1990/2010, that featured untitled (One day this kid …) by Wojnarowicz; and Dan Savage’s compelling and successful web-based video project, It Gets Better. During the exhibition, the museum will offer a community meeting place where diverse voices may share their beliefs and opinions in a safe and respectful environment.

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HOURS – Wednesdays–Sundays 10 am–5 pm, Third Thursdays 5–8 pm
ADMISSION – Adult $9, Student/Military/Senior (65+) $8, Family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18). Children 5 and under free. Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free.
CONTACT – 253.272.4258, http://www.TacomaArtMuseum.org, info@TacomaArtMuseum.org

2 Responses to “TAM Brings Hide/Seek Exhibition to the West Coast”


  1. Monkeys Invade Tacoma Art Museum, March 22 « Tacoma Arts - March 9, 2012

    […] no-invitation-required social during the opening week of the internationally-acclaimed exhibition, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. You can check out this major exhibition of art addressing questions of gender and sexual identity […]

  2. Telephone Room to Sponsor Free Night at TAM 5/24! « Tacoma Arts - May 20, 2012

    […] here to find out more about Tacoma Art Museum and HIDE/SEEK. Find out more about The Bran Flakes here and […]

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