May 1: Empire State Building
Lights up for the Whitney

The Whitney Museum of American Art will partner with Empire State Realty Trust on a one-of-a-kind, one-night-only Empire State Building lightshow on Friday, May 1, 2015, marking two historic occasions: the opening day of the Whitney’s new Renzo Piano–designed building in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and the eighty-fourth anniversary of the Empire State Building.

Focusing on twelve iconic works from the Whitney’s collection, lighting designer Marc Brickman will interpret pieces by artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Peter Halley, and Barbara Kruger, among others, utilizing the Empire State Building’s LED tower lights to create a dynamic show. Beginning at 8 pm on Friday, May 1, each of the twelve artworks will be showcased for thirty minutes, with the light show ending at 2 am on Saturday, May 2. Most of the works that inspired the light show will be on view at the Whitney as part of the new building’s inaugural exhibition, America Is Hard to See (May 1–September 27, 2015).

A special viewing for Museum visitors will be held on Friday, May 1, from 8 pm until 10 pm, at the Whitney’s new building at 99 Gansevoort Street, which has stunning views of the Empire State Building from its four, east-facing terraces.


  • Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Railroad Sunset, 1929. Oil on canvas, 29 5/16 × 48 1/8 in. (74.5 × 122.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Josephine N. Hopper bequest 70.1170 © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art

  • Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Three Flags, 1958. Encaustic on canvas, 30 5/8 × 45 1/2 × 4 5/8 in. (77.8 × 115.6 × 11.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Gilman Foundation, Inc., The Lauder Foundation, A. Alfred Taubman, Laura-Lee Whittier Woods, Howard Lipman, and Ed Downe in honor of the Museum's 50th Anniversary  80.32. © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

  • Peter Halley (b. 1953). Blue Cell with Triple Conduit, 1986. Acrylic and vinyl paint on canvas, two parts; 77 5/16 × 77 1/4 × 3 1/4in. (196.4 × 196.2 × 8.3 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Heather and Steven Mnuchin 2004.608a‑b

  • Andy Warhol (1928‑1987). Flowers, 1970. Screenprint; 36 × 36in. (91.4 × 91.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of David Whitney 71.179.1

  • Mark Rothko, Untitled (Blue, Yellow, Green on Red), 1954. Oil on canvas, 77 3/4 × 65 1/2 in. (197.5 × 166.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of The American Contemporary Art Foundation Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President  2002.261

    © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • Chiura Obata (1885—1975), Evening Glow of Yosemite Fall, 1930. Woodblock print: sheet, 17 7/8 × 13 1/8 in. (45.4 × 33.3 cm); image, 15 7/16 × 10 7/8 in. (39.2 × 27.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Gyo Obata 2014.280 © Gyo Obata

  • Elizabeth Murray (1940–2007), Children Meeting, 1978. Oil on canvas, 101 3/16 × 127 in. (257 × 322.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Louis and Bessie Adler Foundation, Inc., Seymour M. Klein, President  78.34. © 2013 The Murray-Holman Family Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918. Oil on canvas; 35 x 29 15/16 in. (88.9 x 76 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Emily Fisher Landau in honor of Tom Armstrong 91.90 © 2009 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

  • William H. Johnson (1901–1970), Blind Singer, c. 1942. Screenprint; 17 1/2 × 11 9/16 in. (44.5 × 29.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Print Committee 95.53

  • Cory Arcangel (b. 1978). Super Mario Clouds, 2002. Handmade hacked Super Mario Brothers cartridge and Nintendo NES video game system, Edition no. 2/5. Dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee 2005.10.© Cory Arcangel. Courtesy of the artist and Team Gallery, New York

  • Barbara Kruger (1945-), Untitled (We Don’t Need Another Hero), 1987. Photoscreenprint on vinyl. Overall: 108 7/8 × 209 3/16 × 2 1/2 in. (276.5 × 531.3 × 6.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift from the Emily Fisher Landau Collection 2012.180 © artist or artist’s estate

  • Mary Ellen Bute (1906-1983), still from Synchromy No. 4: Escape, 1937-38. 16mm film, color, sound; 4 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee  2014.101 © Estate of Mary Ellen Bute; courtesy Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst, Berlin

Schedule

Hopper

Johns

Halley

Warhol

Rothko

Obata

Murray

O'Keeffe

Johnson

Arcangel

Kruger

Bute

8 PM

8:30 PM

9 PM

9:30 PM

10 PM

10:30 PM

11 PM

11:30 PM

12 AM

12:30 AM

1 AM

1:30 AM