Deborah Kass: Art AIDS America show at the Bronx Museum

July 12, 2016

The Royal Academy of Arts  

July 10, 2016

Susan Delson

‘Art AIDS America,’ opening Wednesday at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, shows how artists have grappled with the AIDS crisis. Shown, Tino Rodriguez’s ‘Eternal Lovers’

It looks like something you might pick up in any well-stocked toy store. But the teddy bear in Charles LeDray’s untitled 1991 sculpture is no toddler’s companion. Dressed in a white funeral suit, it lies in a tiny, silk-lined coffin—another victim of the AIDS crisis that was then tearing through the art world, and the world at large. How artists grappled—and continue to grapple—with the epidemic is the focus of “Art AIDS America,” opening Wednesday at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. In some 120 works by close to 100 artists, the show captures the rage, anguish and overwhelming sense of loss that accompanied the epidemic at its height, along with the activism it sparked and its continuing reverberation through the culture.

Artists