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Exhibition Organized by Artist Jonathan Horowitz Explores Artists’ Responses to Social Injustice from the Early 20th Century to Now

Ben Shahn, We Fight For A Free World!, c. 1942, gouache and tempera on board. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.

Credit: Artwork © Estate of Ben Shahn / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Release Date: January 21, 2020

Exhibition Organized by Artist Jonathan Horowitz Explores Artists’ Responses to Social Injustice from the Early 20th Century to Now

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Works by Horowitz as Well as Huma Bhabha, Robert Colescott, Adrian Piper, Ben Shahn, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Max Weber, and Others on View

We Fight to Build a Free World:
An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz
March 20-August 2, 2020

New York, NY, January 21, 2020 — The Jewish Museum will present We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz which looks at how artists have responded to intolerance and authoritarianism, and how they’ve addressed immigration, assimilation, and cultural identity, from March 20 through August 2, 2020. The exhibition will feature works of art primarily from the early 20th century to now. Examples of American social realism from the 1930s and 1940s, new works by Jonathan Horowitz, and newly commissioned political posters by contemporary artists are highlighted. The approximately 80 works include a range of media: sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and video.

“The Jewish Museum invited me to develop a project responding to the recent rise of anti-Semitism,” Jonathan Horowitz said. “I chose to address the subject within a broad context, looking at how artists have responded historically to the rise of authoritarianism and xenophobia, including anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.”

The exhibition’s title, We Fight to Build a Free World, is adapted from a painting by Ben Shahn, We Fight for a Free World, c. 1942, which will be on view in this exhibition. Also included are works by Asco, Huma Bhabha, Enrique Chagoya, Robert Colescott, Phillip Evergood, Luis Jiménez, Rebecca Lepkoff, Glenn Ligon, Abraham Manievich, Bernard Perlin, Adrian Piper, Fritz Scholder, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Henry Sugimoto, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Max Weber, and Charles White, among others.

Horowitz’s installation sets a selection of works in thought provoking contexts, offering visitors new ways to interpret the art. Evocative juxtapositions of artworks and exhibition graphics create unexpected associations and foster dialogue.

We Fight to Build a Free World will also feature an installation of newly commissioned political posters by 36 artists including Judith Bernstein, Marcel Dzama, Rico Gatson, Kim Gordon and Jason Smith, Cheyenne Julien, Christine Sun Kim, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Marilyn Minter.

The exhibition is a project by artist Jonathan Horowitz, organized in consultation with Ruth Beesch, Senior Deputy Director, and Shira Backer, Leon Levy Assistant Curator, The Jewish Museum. The exhibition and graphic design are by Topos Graphics.

Jonathan Horowitz (b. 1966, New York) has made art that combines the imagery and ambivalence of Pop art with the engaged criticality of conceptualism for three decades. Often based on both popular commercial and art historical sources, his work in video, sculpture, painting, and photography examines the deep-seated links between consumerism and political consciousness, as well as the political silences of postwar art. Recent solo exhibitions include Pre-Fall ’17, Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK (2019); Leftover Paint Abstractions, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium (2018); 1612 DOTS, Oculus World Trade Center, New York, NY (2017); and Occupy Greenwich, The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, CT (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Brainwashed, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2020), and Never Again: Art Against War and Fascism in the 20th and 21st Centuries, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland (2019).

Public Programs
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Jewish Museum will present a series of public programs featuring lectures, discussions, and gallery talks reflecting on the issues and ideas raised by the art on view. On Thursday, May 7 at 6:30 pm, the Jewish Museum will host historians Deborah Lipstadt and Edna Friedberg in conversation about anti-Semitism in America during the Holocaust and why it continues to be a potent and dangerous force in our country today. The program is presented by the Jewish Museum and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz is made possible by Toby Devan Lewis, the Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, and other generous donors. Additional support is provided through the Centennial Fund and the Barbara Horowitz Contemporary Art Fund.

About the Jewish Museum

Located on New York City’s famed Museum Mile, the Jewish Museum is a distinctive hub for art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. Founded in 1904, the Museum was the first institution of its kind in the United States and is one of the oldest Jewish museums in the world. Devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, the Museum offers diverse exhibitions and programs, and maintains a unique collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media reflecting the global Jewish experience over more than 4,000 years.

Location: 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City

Hours: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm.

Admission: $18.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens, $8.00 for students, free for visitors 18 and under and Jewish Museum members. Free on Saturdays and select Jewish holidays.

Information: The public may call 212.423.3200 or visit TheJewishMuseum.org

Press contacts

Anne Scher, 212.423.3271 or ascher@thejm.org
Daniela Stigh, 212.423.3330 or dstigh@thejm.org
pressoffice@thejm.org (general inquiries)