So I was trying to suppress the mini conniption fit I was bound to have after this weekend, after my friend emilyvanhoff texted me about the FGT [Felix Gonzalez-Torres] retrospective currently taking place at the Art Institute of Chicago. I’m not at all upset by the retrospective, rather elated at the opportunity to see so many works in person. The problem here would rather be found in the wall text. I have an entire blog post about this so I won’t go into it much here but in short, no mention of Ross Laycock, Torres’ lover and ‘muse’ (for lack of a better term here) of his work.
Then, I hear about this art tour that is done WHILE torres’ exhibit is up. No mention. Of him, nor Robert Gober, who for those who haven’t been to the AI, has an entire room in the Modern Wing [which was actually a little reminiscent of my interim class with Rowley Kennerk in which we were assigned artists to research, and when prompted by Matt Stolle to answer whether or not Robert Gober was a homosexual, the young man assigned to him responded that his research “made no indication” of this fact, which was hilarious considering it’s actually mentioned in a lot of the books about him at the School of the Art Institute’s library, where we were sent to research our artists (Note: I had Felix… how fitting)].
If this ends up being a more than one time tour then I will apologize for my insane tirade but come on, AI! It was an interesting interview, don’t get me wrong. I was happy to hear they had mentioned Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns (although very briefly). It was interesting that they had chosen to look at works by Agnes Martin and Gustave Caillebotte [Two artists not typically “known” for their homosexuality]. But it would have been nice to have more of a range of artists, since there are so many currently featured at the Art Institute. Not as a “gay witch hunt” outing, but more as a reflection on how different artists were impacted by homosexuality and the role it played in their work [whether or not it even consciously did, for instance].***
It also definitely warranted more than 11 minutes as well. I mean, am I the only insane person here?
***I say consciously because I understand that from my perspective as a woman, I am not always producing work that seems to directly respond to the fact that I am a woman, but that simple fact can find itself informing some of the decisions I make or do not make, just as my upbringing and other aspects of my culture can.