Museums with Pride

The Fine Arts Museums joined a contingent of local museums to celebrate the 44th annual Pride Festival in San Francisco this past weekend. Two exciting and timely contemporary art exhibitions are on view at the de Young this summer and fall: Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay and Keith Haring: The Political Line.

During the culturally tumultuous years of 1969 to 1973, Anthony Friedkin made a series of eloquent and expressive photographs that chronicle the gay communities in Los Angeles and San Francisco at the time. The Gay Essay was a self-assigned project, and, although largely unknown today, it is arguably the most important set of photographs in Friedkin’s portfolio to date.

Keith Haring: The Political Line will have its US premiere at the de Young in November, and is the first major Haring show on the West Coast in nearly two decades. On view will be several pieces that have not been published or displayed to the public since the artist’s death in 1990, among more than 130 works of art including large-scale paintings on tarpaulins and canvases, sculptures, and a number of Haring's Subway Drawings. The exhibition will create a narrative that explores Haring’s responses to nuclear disarmament, racial inequality, the excesses of capitalism, environmental degradation, and other issues of deep personal concern to him.

Image credit: Anthony Friedkin, Hustlers, Selma Avenue, Hollywood, from the series The Gay Essay, 1971. Gelatin silver print. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gift of Mary and Dan Solomon, 2011.66.8