New York

View of “Bloodflames Revisited,” 2014.

View of “Bloodflames Revisited,” 2014.

“Bloodflames Revisited”

Kasmin Sculpture Garden

View of “Bloodflames Revisited,” 2014.

“Bloodflames Revisited” commemorated the swan song of late Surrealism in exile. Despite much that was praiseworthy in the show, its major failing was that the work of its twenty-five artists—complexly installed in the two Kasmin venues—ignored the mad swish and sheer bliss of the original event. What intrigued, after all, was the promised revival of a feckless gay sensibility of theatricalized femininity, worlds away from gay pride, ACT UP, and queer theory.

The first “Bloodflames” was organized in 1947 by the young Alexander Iolas, a well-heeled balletomane (and former dancer) of Greek origin possessed of a whimsy of iron. Sir John Richardson fondly remembers this famous heartthrob of the Marquis de Cuevas, ballet’s Maecenas, as being “as camp as a row of tents.” Held at New York’s Hugo Gallery, that show included grand talents such as David Hare, Arshile Gorky, Roberto

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