previews

New York

“RUBBISH AND DREAMS: THE GENDERQUEER PERFORMANCE ART OF STEPHEN VARBLE”

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
26 Wooster Street
September 29 - January 27

Curated by David Getsy

Seditionary glamour girl Stephen Varble would’ve likely puked watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, as he was not very keen on the shameless self-promotion the program’s stars so readily embrace. The artist defied all kinds of categorization in his one-of-a-kind costumes and frocks—frequently made out of garbage—which he used for guerrilla performances that irritated New York’s hallowed sites of capitalist exchange, such as Tiffany, Chemical Bank, and sundry commercial art galleries. Varble died in 1984, as did much of his legacy. But the Leslie-Lohman Museum will bring his oeuvre back to life for a retrospective that will showcase a range of the artist’s extant works, including garments, drawings, photographs, archival materials, and excerpts from his fever-dreamy Journey to the Sun, 1978–83, a fantastical video project that Varble spent the last five years of his life trying to complete.