Whitney Museum

Fast Forward

Painting From The 1980s

27 Jan - 14 May 2017

© Julia Wachtel
Membership, 1984
Oil on canvas
66 × 81 in. (167.6 × 205.7 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 2016.114
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988)
“LNAPRK”, 1982
Acrylic, oil, oil stick, and marker on found paper on canvas and wood, with rope
72 1/4 × 66 5/16 in. (183.5 × 168.4 cm).
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of June and Paul Schorr in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Whitney Museum of American Art 91.83 © 2016 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York
Peter Cain (1959–1997)
Z, 1989
Oil on canvas
58 1/4 × 70 1/8 in. (148 × 178.1 cm).
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 92.29 © Peter Cain; courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, N.Y.
Robert Colescott (1925–2009)
The Three Graces: Art, Sex and Death, 1981
Acrylic on canvas
84 × 72 in. (213.4 × 182.9 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Raymond J. Learsy 91.59.1 With permission of the Estate of Robert Colescott
Moira Dryer (1957–1992)
Portrait of a Fingerprint, 1988
Casein on plywood, 48 1/8 × 61 1/4 × 4 in. (122.2 × 155.6 × 10.2 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz 94.58 © Estate of Moira Dryer
Eric Fischl (b. 1948)
A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island, 1983
Oil on canvas
84 × 168 in. (213.4 × 426.7 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Louis and Bessie Adler Foundation, Inc., Seymour M. Klein, President 83.17 a-b
David Salle (b. 1952)
Sextant in Dogtown, (1987)
Oil and acrylic on canvas
96 3/16 × 126 1/4 in. (244.3 × 320.7 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 88.8a-e. © David Salle, licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.
FAST FORWARD
Painting From The 1980s
27 January – 14 May 2017

Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s presents a focused look at painting from this decade with works drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection.

In the 1980s, painting recaptured the imagination of the contemporary art world against a backdrop of expansive change. An unprecedented number of galleries appeared on the scene, particularly in downtown New York. Groundbreaking exhibitions—that blurred distinctions between high and low art—were presented at alternative and artist-run spaces. New mediums, including video and installation art, were on the rise. Yet despite the growing popularity of photography and video, many artists actively embraced painting, freely exploring its bold physicality and unique capacity for expression and innovation.

The exhibition includes work by artists often identified with this explosive period—Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sherrie Levine, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel—as well as by several lesser-known painters. These artists explored the traditions of figuration and history painting, and offered new interpretations of abstraction. Many addressed fundamental questions about artmaking in their work, while others took on political issues including AIDS, feminism, gentrification, and war. In the face of a media-saturated environment, artists in the 1980s recommitted to painting. Far from dead, painting came to represent an important intersection between new ways of seeing and a seemingly traditional way of making art.

Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s is organized by Jane Panetta, associate curator, with Melinda Lang, curatorial assistant.
 

Tags: Jean Michel Basquiat, Sherrie Levine, David Salle, Julian Schnabel