previews

  • “QUEER ABSTRACTION”

    Des Moines Art Center
    4700 Grand Avenue

    Curated by Jared Ledesma

    Polari, a secret tongue that goes back centuries, is a car crash of languages (such as Italian, Yiddish, Romani, and back slang) that was once spoken by carnies, criminals, and gay men, mostly in the United Kingdom, to evade the keen ears of the law and “respectable” society. The fifteen LGBTQ+ artists in this show use abstraction as a kind of visual Polari to discuss queer eroticism and the more fluid, fabulous strains of sexual identity. Featured works will include Tom Burr’s cruisy, site-specific take on Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc, 1981; Sheila Pepe’s sensual yet weirdly scatological ceramics; and Edie Fake’s faggy, über-fantastic gouache-and-ink paintings. This is the first time the seventy-year-old Des Moines Art Center has mounted an exhibition dedicated exclusively to queer art. It’s about time we get to vada such zhooshy masterpiecettes in Iowa, ducky. Travels to the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, November 21, 2019–March 8, 2020.