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Exhibitions

"I, YOU, WE" at the Whitney Explores the Many Facets of Identity

By

Eric Fischl, "A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island," 1983 (All images courtesy Whitney Museum)
Eric Fischl, "A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island," 1983 (All images courtesy Whitney Museum)
The exhibition of work from the 1980s and 1990s is divided into five thematic sections, including "I," "YOU," and "WE."
The exhibition of work from the 1980s and 1990s is divided into five thematic sections, including "I," "YOU," and "WE."
The show will be the last of a two-year series displaying work from the museum's permanent collection.
The show will be the last of a two-year series displaying work from the museum's permanent collection.
The end of the series marks the museum's transition to a new building in the Meatpacking District in 2015.
The end of the series marks the museum's transition to a new building in the Meatpacking District in 2015.
David Wojnarowicz, "One Day, This Kid . . . ," 1990
David Wojnarowicz, "One Day, This Kid . . . ," 1990
Tina Barney, "The Landscape," 1988.
Tina Barney, "The Landscape," 1988.
"I, YOU, WE" will run through September 1.
"I, YOU, WE" will run through September 1.
Donald Moffett, "He Kills Me," 1987
Donald Moffett, "He Kills Me," 1987

"I, YOU, WE" at the Whitney Museum addresses finality in several ways: it is not only a survey of art of the 1980s and 1990s, just as the AIDS crisis was ravaging the art world, but it also marks the museum's last permanent-collection exhibition before leaving its Marcel Breuer building in 2015 for the Meatpacking District.

The five-part show devotes a gallery to each of its titular pronouns, one to work dealing with AIDS, and then one finally to Nan Goldin's famed work The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. "I" includes artists who examine the self, such as Glenn Ligon, Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, and Kiki Smith, while "YOU" deals with the artist-and-subject interplay through works by the likes ofRichard Avedon, Shirin Neshat, Jim Dine, David Salle, and Richard Prince. "WE" is the largest component, examining themes of collective identity with pieces by Eric Fischl,Jenny Holzer, andRobert Longo.

The exhibition features nearly every major name in art of at the end of the 20th century—a fitting exit as the museum transitions into its new space for the 21st.

Click the slide show above to tour the show.

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