We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz 


Coming Soon

This exhibition, organized by artist Jonathan Horowitz, explores artists’ responses to social injustice from the early 20th century to now, featuring works by Horowitz as well as Huma Bhabha, Robert Colescott, Adrian Piper, Ben Shahn, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Max Weber, and others.

Jonathan Horowitz, Power, 2019, UV print on PVC board, vinyl sticker. Artwork © Jonathan Horowitz. Courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Robert Glowacki.

Artist Jonathan Horowitz (b. 1966) is known for combining the imagery and ambivalence of Pop Art with the engaged criticality of conceptualism. Throughout his three-decade practice, his work in video, sculpture, painting, and photography has examined the deep-seated links between consumer culture and political consciousness.

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 of Tate.

We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz looks at how artists have historically responded to the rise of both xenophobia — including anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry — and authoritarianism. The exhibition also addresses issues surrounding immigration, assimilation, and cultural identity.

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 of Blum & Poe. 

Featuring approximately 80 works of painting, sculpture, photography, and video, the exhibition will include examples of American social realism from the 1930s and 1940s, new works by Jonathan Horowitz, as well as 36 newly commissioned political posters by contemporary artists, including Judith Bernstein, Marcel Dzama, Rico Gatson, Kim Gordon and Jason Smith, Cheyenne Julien, Christine Sun Kim, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Marilyn Minter.

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

The exhibition’s title, We Fight to Build a Free World, is adapted from a painting by Ben Shahn, which will be on view. Also included are works by Asco, Huma Bhabha, Enrique Chagoya, Robert Colescott, Philip 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 places disparate works in dialogue, making connections across time and place. Pointed juxtapositions of artworks and exhibition graphics raise questions and foster dialogue.


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.
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, the Leon Levy Foundation, and other generous donors.
Additional support is provided through the Centennial Fund and the Barbara Horowitz Contemporary Art Fund.