We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz at Jewish Museum, October 1, 2020 – January 24, 2021

We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz looks at how artists have responded to the rise of intolerance and authoritarianism, addressing issues surrounding immigration, assimilation, and cultural identity. Jonathan Horowitz (b. 1966, New York City) is an artist working in a wide range of mediums, including video, installation, painting, sculpture, and photography, exploring subjects ranging from environmentalism to the American political process.

The exhibition features works of art primarily from the early 20th century until now, including examples of American social realism from the 1930s and 1940s, new works by Jonathan Horowitz, and newly commissioned political posters by contemporary artists. The nearly 80 works draw connections between historical oppression and today’s political and cultural challenges. A range of media — video, sculpture, painting, photography, and prints — is represented.

The exhibition’s title, We Fight to Build a Free World, is from a series of World War II propaganda posters designed by Ben Shahn for the United States Office of War Information. The designs incorporate imagery by four other artists – Edward Millman (Suppression), Käthe Kollwitz (Starvation), Yasuo Kuniyoshi (Torture), and Bernard Perlin (Murder), as well as by Shahn (Slavery). Like much of Shahn’s work for the OWI, most of the posters were never produced. Shahn’s painting, We Fight for a Free World!, c. 1942, which incorporates images of the five posters, will be on view.” — Jewish Museum

Shahn, We Fight For A Free World

Ben Shahn, We Fight For A Free World!, c. 1942, gouache and tempera on board. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY Artwork © Estate of Ben Shahn / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY; image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Horowitz, Power

Jonathan Horowitz, Power, 2019, UV print on PVC board, vinyl sticker. Artwork © Jonathan Horowitz, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London; photography by Robert Glowacki

Horowitz, Tennyson, Jasper and Bob

Jonathan Horowitz, Tennyson, Jasper and Bob, 2014, UV ink on canvas, embroidery, frame. Collection of the artist Artwork © Jonathan Horowitz; image courtesy the artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; photograph by HV-studio, Brussels

tjm-2005-29_1-blumenfeld

Erwin Blumenfeld, The Dictator, c. 1936, gelatin silver print. The Jewish Museum, NY, Purchase: Gift of John and Helga Klein, 2005-29.Artwork © Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld

Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware

Robert Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, 1975, acrylic on canvas. Private collection. Artwork © Estate of Robert Colescott / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; image courtesy Blum & Poe

The Hundredth Psalm

Philip Evergood, The Hundredth Psalm, c. 1938-39, oil on canvas. The Jewish Museum, NY, Purchase: Miriam and Milton Handler and Kristie A. Jayne Funds, 2000-16

Lepkoff, Lower East Side

Rebecca Lepkoff, Lower East Side, 1947, gelatin silver print. Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio: Photo League Collection, Museum Purchase with funds provided by Elizabeth M. Ross, the Derby Fund, John S. and Catherine Chapin Kobacker, and the Friends of the Photo League, 2001.020.085 © Estate of Rebecca Lepkoff, Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Destruction of the Ghetto, Kiev,

Abraham Manievich, Destruction of the Ghetto, Kiev, 1919, oil on canvas. The Jewish Museum, Purchase: Gift of Deana Bezark in memory of her husband Leslie Bezark, 1991-30

Montoya, Cristobal Colon

Malaquias Montoya, Cristobal Colón, 1992, offset lithograph. Artwork © and courtesy Malaquias Montoya

Orthodox Boys

Bernard Perlin, Orthodox Boys, 1948, tempera on board. Tate: Presented by Lincoln Kirstein through the Institute of Contemporary Arts 1950. Artwork © Bernard Perlin; image courtesy Tate

Walker, Middle Passages 1

Kara Walker, Middle Passages (1), 2004, gouache, cut paper and collage on board. Collection of Marc Mills via Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. © Kara Walker, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Walker, Middle Passages 2

Kara Walker, Middle Passages (2), 2004, gouache, cut paper and collage on board. Collection of Marc Mills via Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. © Kara Walker, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Walker, Middle Passages 3

Kara Walker, Middle Passages (3), 2004, gouache, cut paper and collage on board. Collection of Marc Mills via Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. © Kara Walker, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Walker, Middle Passages 4

Kara Walker, Middle Passages (4), 2004, gouache, cut paper and collage on board. Collection of Marc Mills via Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. © Kara Walker, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York

Hope

Max Weber, Hope, 1941, oil on canvas. The Jewish Museum, NY, Gift of the children of Gladys and Selig S. Burrows, 2001-58

Lou Beach

Lou Beach, inkjet print, 2020. © Lou Beach

LAW

Eric J. Garcia, inkjet print, 2020. © Eric J. Garcia

Christine Sun Kim

Christine Sun Kim, inkjet print, 2020. © Christine Sun Kim

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

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.

Images courtesy Jewish Museum.