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Male Desire: The Homoerotic in American Art Hardcover – 15 Apr 2005


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About the Author

Jonathan Weinberg is a painter and art historian who focuses on gay and lesbian themes. He received his B.A. from Yale, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1990. He has taught in the art departments of Yale, Bennington College, City College of the City University of New York, Pace University, Cooper Union, and Harvard Universities. He has held a number of fellowships at Yale and Harvard, and he has curated a number of exhibitions and is widely published.

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
An Insider's Perceptive Evaluation of an Important Art Body! 14 Jun 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jonathan Weinberg approaches the topic of MALE DESIRE: THE HOMOEROTIC IN AMERICAN ART with the requisite credentials to support this fine book in any art circle. Not only is he a fine painter (unfortunately this book includes only one of the author's paintings), but he is an art historian of note, having served as both scholar and artist in residence at the Getty Center in Los Angeles and as recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002. Weinberg writes well, always with authority but with concurrent warmth that makes his presentation more like a fascinating novel than an art historian treatise.

After a terse but informative introduction explaining 'Male Desire' and the précis for this book, Weinberg divides his survey of art in all forms spanning from 1884 to 2003 in to seven interesting approaches: Water, The Man in Uniform, I Want Muscle, Measurement and Circles, Collaborators, The New Adam, and finally, The Age of Aids. In each chapter he shows the evolution of technique, social approach to male art, and individual artists who either painted homoerotic paintings or championed them or (in most cases) both. Weinberg tactfully uses references from artists' statements when possible and while negotiating the place of each artist in the fabric of the time in which each worked, he also enhances the reader's appreciation by commenting on each artist's technique - a factor not usually found in surveys such as this.

Of course it would be too voluminous to include ALL of the artists in America whose output could be additive to homoeroticism and Weinberg elects to choose fewer artists with multiple examples of each selected artist's work to demonstrate his points. Among the artists included are Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Charles Demuth, Paul Cadmus, Jared French, George Bellows, Thomas Pollock Anschutz, Jess, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Theophilus Brown, Wynn Chamberlain, Don Bachardy, as well as photographers Robert Mapplethorpe, Duane Michaels, John Dugdale, Mark Morrisoe, Arthur Tress, Lynn Ashton Harris, Andres Serrano, and John O'Reilly. As is any writer's prerogative he elects to not include some of today's top painters in this tradition such as Wes Hempel, Wade Reynolds, Gerard Huber, Jack Balas, Forrest Williams, Robert Gil de Montes, etc etc, but then those just may be waiting another volume!

Immensely readable and informative, Weinberg has quite successfully married scholarship with a lavish layout of rich reproductions of art that make this a book to treasure. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, June 05
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent survey of gay male imagery in American culture 4 Aug 2006
By James M. Saslow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Male Desire" is an excellent work of synthesis, marking a new plateau in the development of queer cultural studies. It gathers enormous amounts of previously scattered material about gay artists, as well as gay writers and other cultural figures, from Walt Whitman to the present -- and sometimes even identifies images by non-gay artists that have some gay interest. Weinberg has a knack for pithy phrases and metaphors, which help to organize his material both chronologically and thematically, and as a painter himself he is capable of good visual analysis and unusual, thought-provoking connections between very diverse types of art. All future writers on American gay culture will have to acknowledge and reckon with his broad conceptual framework.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Compelling. 4 Aug 2006
By Tirza Latimer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Weinberg's MALE DESIRE: THE HOMOEROTIC IN AMERICAN ART, like his two earlier books SPEAKING FOR VICE: HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE ART OF CHARLES DEMUTH, MARSDEN HARTLEY, AND THE FIRST AMERICAN AVANT-GARDE (1993) and AMBITION AND LOVE IN MODERN AMERICAN ART (2001), demonstrates the extent to which same-sex desire animates American visual culture. That the book's premise should not be widely taken as self-evident reveals the extent to which interpretive perspectives sensitive to the nuances of homoeroticism remain marginalized. Weinberg's analysis of a broad range of visual sources--from fine art to popular culture--is carefully contextualized, tightly conceived, and unfailingly convincing. As a writer, he expresses complex concepts in a voice that is both direct and clear. I highly recommend this book, which makes a unique contribution to the fields of visual studies, gender/sexuality studies, and American history, while exploring critical intersections among them.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
What is wrong with the reviewer below ? A bad hair day? Jealous maybe he will not be able to write such an amazing book... 3 Aug 2006
By Vincent R. Renou - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Male Desire is a BEAUTIFUL book. Not only are the pictures well chosen and hardly seen before, but the text is intelligent and powerful. A book for the mind and the senses that EVERYBODY should own.

Vincent
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Male desire as manifest in extraordinary art. 14 Jun 2014
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let there be a rainy day. Perhaps a quiet Sunday afternoon. You will have ordered this book and find that this rainy Sunday is the time to pick it off the shelf.

I believe you will have made the right decision.
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