Tom Bianchi and David Getsy in Conversation
Friday, September 20, 1pm
Tom Bianchi’s recent publication of two books of polaroids taken in the late 1970s and early 1980s provide an intimate chronicle of gay sexual and social life just before it would be radically changed by the AIDS crisis. During these same years, Bianchi was also a successful abstract artist of collages and constructions that embraced decorative excess and embedded queer signs. In recent years, Bianchi has returned to his work as a painter-sculptor with artworks that reflect on the on-going AIDS crisis and on the suppressed histories of homoeroticism.
He and art historian David Getsy will discuss how, across this history shadowed by the AIDS crisis, Bianchi has used both abstraction and photography to witness the life of desire and to fight against its invisibility.
Presented with NEW DISCRETIONS, New York.
Tom Bianchi’s work has been shown in galleries and museums internationally for 30 years> Recent shows include New Discretions at Johannes Vogt (New York); Jean Albano Gallery (Chicago); Milwaukee Art Institute; Fahey Klein Gallery (Los Angeles). In 1984, he was given his first solo museum exhibition at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. His semi-abstract large-scale constructions have been commissioned for a host of clients including IBM, Bank of America and Saks 5th Avenue. Fire Island Pines Polaroids 1975–1983 was honored by Time magazine’s list of the Best Photo Books of 2013. Published this year, 63 E 9th Street is available through Damiani Press.
David J. Getsy is an art historian and curator whose work focuses on queer and transgender histories of modern and contemporary art. His most recent books are Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender and Queer, an edited collection of artists’ writings for the Whitechapel Gallery’s “Documents of Contemporary Art” book series. He curated the retrospective exhibition Rubbish and Dreams: The Genderqueer Performance Art of Stephen Varble for the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and he is the Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Drawing Room, 2nd Floor
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
12 South Michigan Avenue