This is the first major museum exhibition to focus on sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture and to consider such themes as: the role of sexual difference in depicting modern America; how artists explored the fluidity of sexuality and gender; how major themes in modern art—especially abstraction—were influenced by social marginalization; and how art reflected society's evolving and changing attitudes.
The exhibition begins with late 19th-century works by Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent and charts 20th-century portrayal with more than 100 major works by such American masters as Romaine Brooks, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O'Keeffe. It continues through the post-war period with major pieces by David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Agnes Martin, and Andy Warhol. Works through the end of the 20th century include those by Keith Haring, AA Bronson, Glenn Ligon, Nan Goldin, Catherine Opie, and Felix Gonzales-Torres. Hide/Seek also depicts the impact of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the AIDS epidemic, and the lesbian and gay civil rights movement.