Patrick Angus’ Art: A Chronicle of the ’80s

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PATRICK ANGUS (1953-1992) came to New York from Santa Barbara in 1980 to see the Picasso retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. From December 2017 to April 2018, Angus himself enjoyed a retrospective at the Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart, Germany.

            Angus painted portraits and is known especially for his depiction of the gay New York scene of the 1980s, in particular gay life in bars, bathhouses, porn theaters, and strip shows. Of the latter, his large Gaiety Theater paintings are arresting, with bold colors, lights flashing on the dancers and the patrons, who are men of all ages. I frequented the place myself, beginning in late 1981, with some trepidation in the early stages of coming out, when I was astounded to see the men strip, dance, and hustle in the Apollo Room. The Gaiety was just above the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant at the corner of 46th and Broadway. I found the juxtaposition amusing.

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Robert Stuart is a retired Presbyterian cleric.

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