Prof. Jonathan Katz, Chair of the Visual Studies Doctoral Program at the University at Buffalo, is co-curator of “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” at the National Portrait Gallery through Feb. 13, 2011. A catalog will be published by Smithsonian Books and distributed by Random House.
From The Washington Post:
“Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” … surveys how same-sex love has been portrayed in art, from Walt Whitman’s hints to open declarations in the era of AIDS and Robert Mapplethorpe’s bullwhips. Amazingly, this is the first major museum show to tackle the topic. “Hide/Seek” handles it with all the subtlety required. Scholars Jonathan Katz and David Ward have mounted one of the best thematic exhibitions in years.
“As codemakers know, nothing is as effective as a superfluity of messages to camouflage particular meaning,” writes Katz, dean of American queer studies, in his catalogue essay. (The essay isn’t always easygoing — but it’s also the best treatment of the subject I’ve read.)