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Sexuality: Michelangelo, Queer British Art and Grayson Perry
Tue 6 June 2017, 10:00 – 12:00 BST
The National Gallery’s Michelangelo and Sebastiano has been garnering fantastic reviews, but rather than following the professional relationship which the exhibition explores, we will look at evidence surrounding the Renaissance master’s sexuality, his relationship with the young and beautiful Tommaso de Cavalieri, and the extraordinary series of drawings he made as gifts for his muse. Whether Michelangelo was ‘gay’ or not is an irrelevant question, as this use of the word has no historical relevance – although homosexual acts were deemed illegal. But then, the same was true in the United Kingdom until 50 years ago. To celebrate this anniversary Tate Britain are showing the exhibition Queer British Art, drawing on artists as famous as Sargent and Hockney, together with lesser-known figures who have undeservedly been left in the shadows. Meanwhile, the Serpentine Gallery have commissioned Grayson Perry to present a major exhibition of new works, which he has modestly titled The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! For Perry, and his alter-ego Clare, sexuality as a cross-dressing straight man is at its most complex, and the so-called ‘crisis of masculinity’ comes to the fore.