13 LGBTQ Art Exhibits Worth Seeing This Spring

As queer travelers prepare to cautiously vacation the world again in the coming months, we’ve scoured the world’s top museums to find the best spring exhibits by and about LGBTQ artists. Many long-awaited exhibitions that had been postponed by the pandemic are now on full display, spanning the spectrum from debuts by emerging artists at major museums to major retrospectives of revered art icons. From Austria to Australia, from London to Los Angeles and from Brazilian art to Berlin, here are our picks for the 13 must-see shows this spring.

Royal Academy of Arts, London

“Head VI”, 1949Francis Bacon / The Estate of Francis Bacon

The son of a horse breeder – and openly gay at a time when his sexuality was illegal – Francis Bacon has always been fascinated by animals and primal instincts, which has shaped his unique and raw approach to painting humans and creatures. beasts. Both are featured prominently in this show that spans Bacon’s 50-year career as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

The exhibition is open until April 17.

National Gallery, London

“Prelude (Ibrahima Ndiaye and El Hadji Malick Gueye)”, 2021Kehinde Wiley / Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and Galerie Templon, Paris

Best known for his beautiful portraits of black people – including the official portrait of President Barack Obama – Kehinde Wiley here turns to another field, landscape painting, and again uses Old World motifs to exquisitely depict people of color.

The exhibition is open until April 18.

DeYoung Museum, San Francisco

Patrick Kelly's 1989-1990 fall-winter advertising campaign
Patrick Kelly’s 1989-1990 fall-winter advertising campaignOliviero Toscani / Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Estate of Patrick Kelly

Seen here in its first West Coast appearance, this rambunctious show celebrates the life and work of groundbreaking black fashion designer Patrick Kelly and explores his many influences, including his experiences in the New York and Paris gay scenes in the 70s and 80s.

The exhibition is open until April 24.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, ext.  2, Lakeside, Johannesburg, 2007
Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, ext. 2, Lakeside, Johannesburg, 2007Zanele Muholi / Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York & Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg

For more than a decade, Zanele Muholi has captured the beauty and vulnerability of black LGBTQ people in their native South Africa through deeply moving photographic portraits – which, as this show reveals, have also been used as a powerful form of expression. activism to confront the problems. like identity politics and black queer visibility.

The exhibition is open until May 8.

Jerome AB: “Both terrifying and also liberating”

JJ Adams: “Flowers in temporary hands”

Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art

Installation view of the Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) exhibition at the <a class=Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in 2022.” height=”1334″ width=”2000″/>
Installation view of the Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in 2022.Field workshop

Winner of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland’s biannual Toby Prize, Brooklyn, New York-based artist Puppies Puppies (also known as Jade Kuriki Olivo) chose to share her award experience with Los-based artists. Angeles Jerome AB and JJ Adams, culminating in these three concurrent shows that explore and honor queer lives of color.

The three exhibitions are open until June 5.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Forever), 2017
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Forever), 2017Timo Ohler / Courtesy of Barbara Kruger and Sprüth Magers

The largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Barbara Kruger’s highly influential work in 20 years, this LACMA exhibit includes pieces spanning four decades, from her 1980s single-channel videos to more sophisticated digital productions, all exploring the consumerism, pop culture and instant media effects themes.

The exhibition is open until July 17.

Seattle Art Museum

Installation view of the Lauren Halsey exhibition at the Seattle <a class=Art Museum in 2022.” height=”1667″ width=”2500″/>
Installation view of the Lauren Halsey exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum in 2022.Natali Wiseman

Lauren Halsey’s SAM installation, like most of her works, celebrates black culture by fusing themes of community and imagery from her native South-Central Los Angeles with the hieroglyphics and architecture of the Ancient Egypt. Halsey will also create a site-specific installation for the roof garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York this summer.

The exhibition is open until July 17.

Schwules Museum, Berlin

“Encantadas. Transcendental Brazilian Art.”L* Reiter/Schwules Museum

Organized by a young Brazilian collective with three trans curators, “Encantadas” presents the work of seven artists from the north and northeast of Brazil whose works and life stories revolve around “mystical cosmosvisions”, all in search of original Latin American identities.

The exhibition is open until July 18.

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Installation view of
Installation view of “The Treasure House of Memory” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in 2022.Mel Taing

New York-based multimedia artist Raúl de Nieves has created an interconnected body of work for this ICA show, including several of his densely ornate sculptures that reference the costumes of traditional Mexican society as well as drag cultures, ballroom and queer club.

The exhibition is open until July 24.

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Untitled #4, 2015
Untitled #4, 2015Hoda Afchar

The permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, is given a fresh and comprehensive examination through a queer lens, revealing some 400 works that span historical eras and a wide range of media to express the homosexuality as an expression of sexuality and gender, a political movement, a sensibility and an attitude.

The exhibition is open until August 21.

Mumok, Vienna

“The Specter / Dagger”, 2014Wolfgang Tillmans / Buchholz Gallery, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York

Wolfgang Tillmans’ work has long focused on people, their relationships with each other, and their connection to the things around them – all of which have changed in recent years as our lives have become more mediated. This Mumok exhibition reflects on spatial restructuring and changes in the media landscape, seen through the lens of Tillmans’ photography.

The exhibition is open until August 28.

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