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Full House: Views of the Whitney’s Collection at 75

June 29–Sept 3, 2006

Installation view of Full House: Views of the Whitney’s Collection at 75 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, June 29–September 3, 2006). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

Installation view of Full House: Views of the Whitney’s Collection at 75 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, June 29–September 3, 2006). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

On the occasion of the Whitney’s seventy-fifth anniversary, selected works from the museum’s extensive collection of art in the United States fill Marcel Breuer’s landmark building. Continuing the Whitney’s founding mission to support new artists and emerging art forms, the exhibition proposes an active conversation between the present and the past though dynamic dialogues connecting works of art across all media, spanning the twentieth century to now.

Three of the Museum’s main floors are organized around a core group of works, each focusing on a paradigmatic moment, or “flashpoint,” in American art. The fourth floor is anchored by Minimalist works of the mid 1960s to early 1970s and explores ideas related to industrial production, materiality, and conceptual practices. The third floor takes Pop art as its focal point, with works from the 1960s installed within the context of a range of historical and contemporary developments, including those that address urbanism, consumerism, appropriation, and politics. The second floor is centered on art of the late 1940s and early 1950s when Abstract Expressionism was at its apex. Works investigating the transcendent and spiritual qualities in art circumnavigate this core.

The fifth floor galleries are dedicated to a large-scale presentation of works by Edward Hopper, whose legacy is intimately connected to the Whitney. The Whitney’s Hopper works are supplemented by key loans, including such major paintings as the Art Institute of Chicago’s Nighthawks and the Museum of Modern Art’s New York Movie. Calder’s Circus, one of the museum’s most beloved works, is displayed in the Lobby Gallery, in a brand new installation.

The exhibition presents an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the depth and breadth of the Whitney’s collection, while contextualizing contemporary works within an historical continuum of art in the United States. Full House also serves as a lab for experimentation, a way of seeing art through art to suggest new perspectives and meanings on the last seventy-five years of collecting at the Whitney while flashing forward to the next important chapter in its history.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of The Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support is provided by Jack Rudin in honor of Beth Rudin DeWoody.