Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection

February 2 – April 27, 2014


These are the bold, contemporary, and controversial artists who defined the art of our era. These artists took risks stylistically, thematically, conceptually, and pushed the very boundaries of art.

Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection features works of art by some of the most important, groundbreaking, gamechanging American artists—Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger—and features in-depth presentations by Ed Ruscha, Richard Artschwager, and Jasper Johns, highlighting works spanning their entire careers.

Drawn from Emily Fisher Landau’s spectacular donation of over 400 modern and contemporary works of art to the Whitney Museum of American Art, this exhibition of 80 works traces the themes and ideas that have shaped art since the late 1960s—abstraction, conceptualism, postmodernism, questions about the relevance of painting in the aftermath of minimalism, debates about representation, “culture wars,” and a revived interest in personal narratives.

Legacy also illuminates the sociopolitical issues at the forefront of the 1980s downtown New York scene. Important works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, Peter Hujar, Nan Goldin, Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, and Lorna Simpson tackle tough subject matter, including AIDS, politics, and gender and race issues.

This exhibition was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and is the third installment in a three-year, three-exhibition partnership between GRAM and the Whitney.WHITNEY_GRAM

This exhibition is accompanied by a major hardcover catalogue available for purchase in The Museum Store, and an audio guide with commentary from Whitney Director Adam D. Weinberg, containing recorded interviews and commentary from many of the artists themselves. Visit the calendar page in this issue to learn about related drop-in tours, studio workshops, and visit the website for details on an Instagram photo competition.

“Never stop learning. Never stop looking. Art is the greatest teacher.”

-Emily Fisher Landau


One of the preeminent collectors of post-war American art in the United States, Emily Fisher Landau is a long-time friend, trustee, and supporter of the Whitney Museum of American Art. She began collecting art in the late 1960s, and has focused on building an important collection of contemporary American art since the early 1980s. She consistently supported risk-taking artists, who “portray the world we are living in now.”

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