Between You And Me: Queer Disclosures In The New York Art World, 1948-1963 by Gavin ButtBetween You And Me: Queer Disclosures In The New York Art World, 1948-1963 by Gavin Butt

Between You And Me: Queer Disclosures In The New York Art World, 1948-1963

byGavin Butt

Paperback | September 30, 2005

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In the decades preceding the Stonewall riots--in the wake of the 1948 publication of Alfred Kinsey's controversial report on male sexuality and in the midst of a cold war culture of suspicion and paranoia--discussions of homosexuality within the New York art world necessarily circulated via gossip and rumor. "Between You and Me "explores this informal, everyday talk and how it shaped artists' lives, their work, and its reception. Revealing the "trivial" and "unserious" aspects of the postwar art scene as key to understanding queer subjectivity, Gavin Butt argues for a richer, more expansive concept of historical evidence, one that supplements the verifiable facts of traditional historical narrative with the gossipy fictions of sexual curiosity.

Focusing on the period from 1948 to 1963, Butt draws on the accusations and denials of homosexuality that appeared in the popular press, on early homophile publications such as "One" and the "Mattachine Review," and on biographies, autobiographies, and interviews. In a stunning exposition of Larry Rivers's work, he shows how Rivers incorporated gossip into his paintings, just as his friend and lover Frank O'Hara worked it into his poetry. He describes how the stories about Andy Warhol being too "swish" to be taken seriously as an artist changed following his breakthrough success, reconstructing him as an asexual dandy. Butt also speculates on the meanings surrounding a MoMA curator's refusal in 1958 to buy Jasper Johns's "Target with Plaster Casts" on the grounds that it was too scandalous for the museum to acquire. "Between You and Me" sheds new light on a pivotal moment in American cultural production as it signals new directions for arthistory.

Title:Between You And Me: Queer Disclosures In The New York Art World, 1948-1963Format:PaperbackDimensions:210 pages, 9.28 × 6.26 × 0.56 inPublished:September 30, 2005Publisher:Duke University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0822334984

ISBN - 13:9780822334989

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Editorial Reviews

""Between You and Me" is written in a clear and entertaining prose style. The author alternates between a masterful academic voice and a conspiratorial, confessional whisper in a manner that is rarely jarring. . . . While "Between You and Me" tells us little that is new about the relationships between the artists, curators, and critics it discusses, the book displays a startling freshness nonetheless. The book, at times, seems to echo the 'homophile' magazines that it examines--at the level of desire, through a shared campy sense of humor, and of course through its historical focus on queer personalities. Those magazines are a great pleasure to peruse; it's the tremendous sense of a real conversation that gives them this quality, happening between subscribers and contributors miles apart as they forge a community together. Butt's book also speaks across vast distances--here the less surmountable distance of time--however, and particularly through his retention of the period's humor, he manages to carry on a conversation that this reader was glad to share." --James Boaden, "CAA Reviews"