The growing resurgence in ACT UP, this summer's International AIDS conference, and the growing conversation around HIV Criminalization made 2012 a watershed year for HIV re-emerging in the American public’s consciousness. Over a few blog posts Visual AIDS will look back at pivotal moments of AIDS in culture 2012. Email us what you think at

AIDS in the museum rear view mirror

Major museums across the US and Canada had exhibitions over the last year that focused on art created in response to HIV, and the life and times of many artists living with HIV and involved with the AIDS movement. We are sure we are missing some; let us know what we missed. Of what we got, here are some highlights:

  • Gran Fury: Read My Lips at the NYU’s 80 WSE Gallery was a historic exhibition curated by the members of Gran Fury and Michael Cohen. The exhibition coincided with some of the headiest days of the early Occupy movement. Programming fro the exhibition including an Occupy Art and Labor teach in with Gran Fury. Check out reviews of the show here.

  • Also at NYU, Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore was at both the Grey Gallery and the Fales Library offering a look at Moore’s large scale work, and an intimate view of his personal effects and ephemera. Programming for this retrospective included a series of panel discussions. Here what friends of Moore had to say by clicking on the people’s names:Joy Episalla, Loring McAlpin, Gregg Bordowitz, Harvey Weiss, Hilton Als

  • This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s was organized by Helen Molesworth and used as a bookend, the “mass demonstrations against the government’s slow response to the AIDS crisis.” Included in the show was work by Gregg Bordowitz, General Idea, and Gran Fury.

  • Similarly, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville exhibited Refocus: Art of the 1980s, which included work by Keith Haring.

  • The Brooklyn Museum exhibited never publicly seen before work in the exhibition Keith Haring: 1978 – 1982 including film work. Check out the tumblr the museum made: Keith Haring’s Journals
2013 looks like it will also be full of museum shows looking at the ongoing impact of HIV and art. Jonathan David Katz is working on a survey of Art and AIDS, Paul Thek's work will be on view at Leslie Lohman Gay and Lesbian Art Museum, and we at Visual AIDS are deep in process for our annual summer show at La Ma Ma la Galleria which this year will honor our 25 years with an exhibition curated by Sur Rodney Sur and Kris Nuzzi.