The Sword of Damocles
The Painting Center and Visual AIDS are proud to present The Sword of Damocles: Selections from the Frank Moore Archive a group exhibition of paintings presenting a range of work from twelve mid-career artists, who are also long-term survivors living with HIV. As we mark 30 years of AIDS, The Sword of Damocles contemplates the pandemic as seen through the transformation of these artists’ work over time.
Drawing exclusively from Visual AIDS’s Frank Moore Archive Project, for this exhibition curator Patrick Webb sought to find parallels in the evolution of long-term survivors’ paintings. The featured works, including paintings by Bradford Branch, Jerry Frost, Michael Golden, Frank Holliday, Martin Klug, Jonathan Leiter, Michael Lownie, Ricardo Morin, Joseph Stabilito, Pete Wyman, and Laurence Young, span the artists’ 20+ yearlong careers.
“In the 1980s my own work became a response to the horror and rage of the epidemic. It has followed a trajectory that explores various aspects of being a long-term survivor,” says Webb. “In 1992 I witnessed the death of my boyfriend of 14 years. I never imagined I would outlive him by almost 20 years. I am fortunate to be alive, though at times feel poised on the edge of an abyss. The experience has shaped my sense of self and the development of my work. I hope to bring that perspective as a painter to my selection of paintings.”