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The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art : Images on which to build, 1970s-1990s    


The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art welcomes the exhibition Images on which to build, 1970s-1990s. The exhibition is organized around six distinct sections that highlight photographers, artists, activists, archivists, and collectives who produced influential projects from the 1970s through the 1990s.The exhibition presents a range of practices where photography was a tool for self-determination within interconnected feminist, trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer grassroots organizing. Images on which to build reveals how, through photographic documentation, influential image cultures were constructed and circulated.

Curated by writer and photographer Ariel Goldberg, the exhibition challenges the contemporary understanding of social justice movements by highlighting image cultures of queer life which have sustained the educational work of liberation movements. Alternative schools, workshops, slideshows, study groups, and community-based archive projects generated and circulated images that ignited knowledge, production and sustained belonging, resisting a status quo hostile to trans and queer existence.

The lasting result of these processes of learning is a future defined by an abundance of resources as opposed to violence and repression.

“Photography helps us travel to other times to better understand the repressive political and societal structures we are experiencing today as well as modes of resistance,” says curator Ariel Goldberg. “Images on which to build takes us to the near past, because today’s movements for justice persist in imagining futures beyond a reality of excessive policing and violence. I am delighted to bring the exhibition to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, a space that continues to champion the resilience of trans and queer communities through art.”

“Leslie-Lohman was founded in the liberatory visions of queer artists and the value of their work to build a thriving, equitable, and joyous world,” says Alyssa Nitchun, Executive Director at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art. “Now, more than 50 years later, Leslie-Lohman continues to be a haven for queer resilience, activism and representation. Images on Which to Build, forefronts the critical place of art in LGBTQIA+ experiences and the ways in which our queer history transforms our visions for the future.”

Images on which to build, 1970s–1990s features the work of ART+Positive, Allan Bérubé, Georgia Brooks, Loren Rex Cameron, Digital Transgender Archive, Lola Flash, Allen Frame, Frank Franca, FTM International, GLBT Historical Society, Nan Goldin, Paula Grant, Morgan Gwenwald, Aldo Hernández, JEB (Joan E. Biren), Lesbian Herstory Archives, Leon Mostovoy, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Oikabeth, Ben Power Alwin, Hunter Reynolds, Saskia Scheffer, Sexual Minorities Archives, Diana Solís, Lou Sullivan, and Visual AIDS.

The exhibition is co-organized with the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, and was originally presented as a FotoFocus exhibition on the occasion of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record on September 30, 2022 – February 12, 2023.


Images on which to build, 1970s-1990s
Through July 30, 2023
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
26 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013

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