16 LGBTQ art shows that keep the summer pride vibe going

A rich assortment of exhibitions by and for LGBTQ artists keeps queer creativity flowing in some of the world’s best museums this summer. From coast to coast across the United States and beyond, here are our picks for the summer of ’22, including one museum offering the rare chance to enjoy three queer-themed shows in one visit (hint: head to Baltimore).

Leslie-Lohmann Museum; new York

Installation view of Lorenza Böttner: Requiem for the Norm– Photo by Kristine Eudey / Courtesy of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art

This first American presentation of Lorenza Boettner’s work explores how the 20th-century Chilean German artist, who lost both her hands as a child, used various media to celebrate the complexities of her gender expression and embodiment.

Until August 14

Wexner Center for the Arts; Columbus, Ohio

Image: Film still from Come Hell or High Femmes: Act 2. The Last Trans Femmes on Earth: Dripping Doll Energy, 2021.
Movie still from Come Hell or High Femmes: Act 2. The Last Trans Femmes on Earth: Dripping Doll Energy, 2021.Hannah Patterson / Image courtesy of the artist

In a three-part film and multimedia installation, Brooklyn, New York-based artist Keioui Keijaun Thomas imagines a post-apocalyptic world where only “dolls”—here, broadly meaning black transwomen so flawless they are no longer considered real – have survived a mass extinction.

Until August 14

photographic; new York

Image: Nina's Vanity, 2019 by Lawrence Philomen
Nina’s Vanity, 2019 by Lawrence Philomen.Courtesy of the artist and Fotografiska New York

Since early 2019, Montreal non-binary trans artist Laurence Philomene has been documenting through daily photographs, both staged and candid, the changes that testosterone therapy generates in their bodies and moods. The resulting images challenge viewers to consider identity beyond binaries.

Until August 21

Palm Springs Art Museum; Palm Springs, California

Image: Leon Polk Smith Installation: 1945-1962.
Installation view of Leon Polk Smith: 1945-1962. Guillaume Goureau / via Palm Springs Art Museum

Considered one of the founders of “hard-edge painting,” Leon Polk Smith uses a vocabulary of simple shapes and brilliant colors to challenge some of the most fundamental conventions of painting. This show focuses on Smith’s works from the 1950s, when his mature style began to flourish.

Until August 28

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Image: Installation view of Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Swinguerra.
Installation view of Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Swinguerra.Mel Taing / via the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston

Brazilian German film duo Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca combine their journalistic and visual arts to explore urban youth subcultures and marginalized communities. “Swinguerra,” one of their most famous works, showcases the tradition-rich contemporary styles of three competing groups of queer dancers in northern Brazil.

Until September 5; also shown at the New York Museum as part of “Barbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca: Five Times Braziluntil Oct. 16

SITE Santa Fe; Santa Fe, New Mexico

Image: Multiple works installed in Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric at SITE Santa Fe.
Multiple works installed in Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric at SITE Santa Fe.Shayla Blatchford / via SITE Santa Fe

Bringing together artistic styles and cross-era cultural references, Choctaw Cherokee artist Jeffrey Gibson creates vibrant works that express the complex relationships between injustice, marginalization, and personal identity. This new solo exhibition is a review of several decades of Gibson’s work alongside newly commissioned works.

Until September 11

The Morgan Library and Museum; new York

Image: Chrysanthemum Writing: The Drawings of Rick Barton.
Chrysanthemum Writing: The Drawings of Rick Barton. through the Morgan Library and Museum; new York

Shrouded in mystery, artist Rick Barton captured his wildly diverse subjects in a web of pen and ink lines and was influential among a small group of fellow gay artists in the 1950s and 1960s San Francisco Beat movement. This exhibition of 60 drawings, two sketchbooks and five prints marks the first time Barton’s art has been exhibited to the public.

Until September 11

McCord Museum; Montreal

Alone Time, 2015, by JJ Levine: Strange Pictures.
Alone Time, 2015, by JJ Levine: Strange Pictures. JJ Levine / via the McCord Museum; Montreal

The work of Montreal photographer JJ Levine is celebrated in this show, which presents 52 large-format stage portraits of self-identified queer subjects in intimate domestic settings, taken from three of the artist’s photo series that question the representation of traditional gender binaries.

Until September 18

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Image: Installation view of Nick Cave: Forothermore.
Installation view of Nick Cave: Forothermore. through the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This first career-spanning survey of Chicago artist Nick Cave highlights his vibrant body of work, which includes sculpture, fashion, video, performance, and installation, spanning all aspects of his decades of work as an activist, educator, designer, and performer. Never-before-seen works include the latest from his popular “Soundsuits” series.

Until Oct. 2

Image: Zachary Drucker's Connection, #35 (Pygmalion).
The Zachary Drucker Connection, #35 (Pygmalion).Zachary Drucker / via the Baltimore Museum of Art
Image: Salman Tour with his paintings.
Salman Tour with his paintings. Brian Derbala / via ArtPartner

Baltimore Museum of Art

Photo by Elle Pérez's: Devotions.
Photo by Elle Pérez’s: DevotionsElle Pérez / via the Baltimore Museum of Art

In one of the strangest gatherings of individual exhibitions in a mainstream institution, the Baltimore Museum of Art presents three creatively curated LGBT-themed shows in its sprawling complex.

First, the innovative, insightful and centuries-spanning look at gender and identity, Shapeshifting: Transformations on Paper, features works by Zachary Drucker, Man Ray, Gerda Wegener and Pablo Picasso.

Until Oct. 2

Brooklyn, New York-based artist Salman Tour’s colorful, playful and boldly quirky visions are meanwhile featured in No Ordinary Love, with 45 works, including several created especially for this show.

Until 23 Oct

And the moving photographs of New York-based gender non-conforming trans artist Elle Pérez are on provocative display in “Devotions.”

Until March 19

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Image: Installation view of Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse.
Installation view of Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse. via the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

This first West Coast exhibition of the work of fashion visionary Lee Alexander McQueen contextualizes the designer’s inspired work within the many contemporary artists who draw on similar themes and visual references, and examines the interdisciplinary impulse that defined his all-too-brief career.

Until 9 Oct

gay museum; Berlin

Image: View from the Tuntenhaus Forellenhof installation 1990: The Short Summer of Gay Communism.
View from the Tuntenhaus Forellenhof installation 1990: The Short Summer of Gay Communism.
Peter Runkewitz / via Gay Museum

On May Day, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, about 30 gay men occupied an apartment building in the city’s Friedrichshain district and created what became the Tuntenhaus Forellenhof, a utopian collective of communist queers. This fascinating exhibition reveals the daily lives of the inhabitants of this short-lived experiment through voices, anecdotes, relics and a recreation of their communal dining room.

Until 31 Oct

Blaffer Museum of Art; Houston

Image:
Charcoal “Wind Drawing” by Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin.Courtesy of the artists and Devin Borden Gallery, Houston

The interdisciplinary work of artistic and life partners Nick Vaughn and Jake Margolin heralds the stories of America’s commonly marginalized LGBTQ communities, as highlighted by their current 50 States project, honoring little-known pre-Stonewall queer stories from each state. This exhibition by Blaffer focuses on a new body of drawings called “windprints,” in which images of “50 countries” are lightly outlined with charcoal powder and then blown away.

July 15-Oct. 9

Union Hall; Denver

Image: Robert Martin
“Family Portrait” by Robert Martin in the exhibition “The Story of You and Me”. Robert Martin / Courtesy of Robert Martin

This heartfelt and sentimental group show features four emerging LGBTQ artists—Erickson Diaz-Cortez, Jordan Ramsey Ismail, Em VanLoan, and Robert Martin—and their works that are about or inspired by their intimate relationships, both with others and with themselves. you are

July 21-Sept. 17

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