Hidden in plain sight: How gay artists expressed forbidden desire in code
By Amrou Al-Kadhi, CNN
5 minute read
10:29 AM EDT, Thu April 27, 2017
"The Critics" (1927) by Henry Scott Tuke —
"Queer British Art (1861-1967)," a new exhibition at London's Tate Britain, celebrates works created by British artists before 1967, when male homosexuality was decriminalized in the UK.
Courtesy Warwick District Council (Leamington Spa, UK)
"Sappho and Erinna in a Garden at Mytilene" (1864) by Simeon Solomon —
Born to a family of artists, Simeon Solomon often included same-sex themes in his work. He was a part of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
"Self Portrait" (1913) by Laura Knight —
Here, Laura Knight has depicted herself painting a friend. The painting was denounced as vulgar when it was first unveiled.
Courtesy National Portrait Gallery (London, UK)
"Bathing" (1911) by Duncan Grant —
Duncan Grant's celebration of the male form was influenced by the work of Michelangelo.
"Gluck" (1942) by Hannah Gluckstein —
Hannah Gluckstein, who went by simply Gluck, was recently the subject of a major retrospective in London.
Courtesy National Portrait Gallery
"Drawing of Two Men Kissing" (1958-73) by Keith Vaughan —
Keith Vaughan got his start in advertising before moving to painting. His journals, written from the age of 27 until his death, revealed inner conflicts around his sexuality.
Courtesy The Estate of Keith Vaughan/DACS
"Head of a Greek Sailor" (1940) by John Craxton —
Though born in England, artist John Craxton spent many years living in Greece, painting the landscapes and locals.
Courtesy Estate of John Craxton/London Borough of Camden/DACS
"Life Painting for a Diploma" (1962) by David Hockney —
"I was threatened with not getting a diploma at all at The Royal College because they said I hadn't done enough life-painting. So I copied that muscle man out of a magazine," Hockney said of this piece in 1962.