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THE GIFT: The Print Portfolios of EXIT Art

Oct. 17–Nov. 15, 2013

Monroe-Brown Gallery


During its first decade, Exit Art, the premiere not-for-profit cultural organization in New York City presented artists whose work challenged notions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and equality. It mounted a series of mid-career retrospectives which helped to bring wider public attention and critical acclaim to artists who are now firmly established, including Jimmie Durham, Willie Birch, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Tehching Hsieh, Martin Wong, Adrian Piper, David Wojnarowicz and David Hammons.
In its second decade, Exit Art identified a new generation of young, emerging artists with diverse backgrounds and organized a series of exhibitions, launching the careers of artists such as Shirin Neshat, Fred Tomaselli, Nicole Eisenman, Roxy Paine, Patty Chang, Julie Mehretu, Sue DeBeer, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Chakaia Booker. "Fever" (1992), the first exhibition in the series, was named one of the ten most important shows of the decade by Peter Plagens in "Newsweek".

In its final decade, Exit Art became a leading voice in experimental art, producing exhibitions that illuminated the pressing issues of its time while supporting artists whose works reflected the transformations of our culture. By 2012, its 30th and final year, Exit Art had organized more than 200 exhibitions, events, festivals and programs featuring more than 2,500 artists.

In the late 1990's EXIT began to do a portfolio series that was a mix of then emerging artists with some of the masters of contemporary art, including Leon Golub, Ann Hamilton, Sanford Biggers, and Alfredo Jaar. The portfolios became a record of EXIT's accomplishments for over a decade.