Queer British Art 1861-1967 at Tate Britain


Employing this current buzz-term with ostentatious bluntness, the title of this substantial show celebrating fifty years since the “partial decriminalisation” of male homosexuality in 1967’s Sexual Offences act, begs the question of whether we’re in for art that tells the story of homosexuality in Britain over the 150 years leading up to the legal landmark, or art by artists who just happen to be gay. Judging by the first room, devoted to the late 19th century Aesthetic Movement, the exhibition might have been better titled Screamingly Camp Art.

Victorian academic sculptor Hamo Thornycroft provides a piece of slack-trousered soft porn in his magnificently muscled male figure The Mower, while Evelyn de Morgan’s Aurora Triumphans, a preposterous essay in androgynous Pre-Raphaelitism, may conceivably provide evidence that the artist was having an affair with her maid, as the curators suggest.

Source: Queer British Art 1861-1967 at Tate Britain

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