Whitney Museum opens I, You, We

Whitney Museum presents I, You, We, an exhibition on view from April 25 to September 1 in the Museum’s Mildred and Herbert Lee Galleries.

Ruth Ellen Weisberg, (b. 1942), Passage, 1985. Lithograph, Sheet: 36 1/4 x 29 11/16in. (92.1 x 75.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Gary M. and Brenda H. Ruttenberg 94.200

Ruth Ellen Weisberg, (b. 1942), Passage, 1985. Lithograph, Sheet: 36 1/4 x 29 11/16in. (92.1 x 75.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Gary M. and Brenda H. Ruttenberg 94.200

The final installment in a series of exhibitions reassessing the Museum’s permanent collection, I, YOU, WE—three words that strike at the core of how artists perceive themselves, their subjects, and society in general—provides the framework for a survey of art from the 1980s through the early ’90s at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Curated by David Kiehl and composed of deeply personal paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs culled from the Museum’s permanent collection, the show reveals both the individual and collective concerns of this highly charged era. I, YOU, WE will be on view from April 25 to September 1 in the Museum’s secondfloor Mildred and Herbert Lee Galleries.

The 1980s are often remembered as the time of a burgeoning art market, fueled by equally surging stock prices, although in fact this pivotal period witnessed a widening gap in wealth and ideology throughout the country. Though Wall Street experienced record growths, less prosperous members of society suffered the effects of rapid gentrification and disenfranchisement. This was also a time when the AIDS epidemic ravaged communities, though the disease went largely unacknowledged by politicians, including President Ronald Reagan, who failed to mention its existence until 1987.

Arranged into four sections, the show begins with a gallery devoted to “I.” Largely composed of works that address shifting perceptions of personal identity, this space will contain pieces by John Coplans, Robert Gober, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mark Morrisroe, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Francesca Woodman, among others. Though many of the works are selfportraits, others play with notions of individuality such as Jasper Johns’s Racing Thoughts (1983) and Glenn Ligon’s 1990 painting Untitled (I Do Not Always Feel Colored).

For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org.

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