The Unflinching Eye: The Symbols of David Wojnarowicz on view in the Mamdouha Bobst Gallery, July 12-Oct 11, 2018

Untitled (eye with ant), 1988 Silver gelatin print courtesy of PPOW Gallery

The New York University Division of Libraries presents The Unflinching Eye: The Symbols of David Wojnarowicz—an exhibition utilizing archival material to contextualize Wojnarowicz's creative practice—held in conjunction with the Whitney Museum of Art’s sweeping retrospective, History Keeps Me Awake at Night. Selected almost entirely from the David Wojnarowicz Papers housed in NYU's Downtown Collection, The Unflinching Eye seeks to analyze the images, ideas, and relationships that informed the artist's work across media including painting, photography, installation, performance, and writing.

David Wojnarowicz came to prominence in 1980s New York, a time and place imbued with creativity and innovation and defined by seismic cultural shifts. A seminal artist who worked across media and pushed boundaries, Wojnarowicz’s work reflects and explores the overlapping cultural scenes that came to define New York—and the arts scene—revealing a complex, multifaceted use of symbols bordering on a private language.

The Unflinching Eye: The Symbols of David Wojnarowicz stands as a companion exhibition to History Keeps Me Awake At Night to help viewers explore the roots of Wojnarowicz’s practice and use that knowledge to better understand the work on display at the Whitney Museum.

The exhibition contains three sections that consider the symbolic set pervading Wojnarowicz’s body of work, analyze the relationship between Wojnarowicz and photographer Peter Hujar, present a series of prints from Wojnarowicz’s Arthur Rimbaud in New York series alongside a selection of Wojnarowicz’s journals, and explore Wojnarowicz’s work across creative disciplines. The exhibition is coordinated by Nicholas Martin, with curatorial contributions from Hugh Ryan, Marvin Taylor and Marcelo Yáñez.

NYU gratefully acknowledges the Keith Haring Foundation for its support of The Unflinching Eye.

“The Unflinching Eye: The Symbols of David Wojnarowicz” on display in the Mamdouha Bobst Gallery in the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, main floor from July 12–October 11 (exhibition is viewable between 7 AM and 11 PM). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.]. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

About Fales Library and the Downtown Collection
NYU Libraries’ Downtown Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1974 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including paper, photography, moving image, and born digital content. Many of its artists bore early witness to the AIDS epidemic; some did not survive it. Established in 1994, the Downtown Collection continues to grow, supporting a broad spectrum of cultural studies and drawing researchers from around the world.