SAN FRANCISCO – May 15, 2008 – Building on its long history of supporting the arts, today Gap introduced Artist Editions T-Shirts, a limited edition collection of t-shirts designed by 13 of today’s most influential contemporary artists, including Chuck Close, Jeff Koons, Marilyn Minter, Kiki Smith, Cai Guo-Qiang, Barbara Kruger, Ashley Bickerton, Kenny Scharf, Glenn Ligon, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kerry James Marshall, Hanna Liden and Sarah Sze.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a distinguished and diverse group of artists,” said Marka Hansen, president of Gap brand North America. “This collaboration celebrates the intersection of art and fashion and enables people to access contemporary art in a different way. These 13 works of art speak the importance of creative expression and individuality, and we can’t wait for our customers to experience them in their own way.”
Gap worked in close partnership with the Whitney Museum of American Art and Art Production Fund to create the collection with the 13 artists, who are all previous Whitney Biennial participants. The Whitney Biennial is a special exhibition held every two years at the Whitney Museum of American Art that features the most important contemporary art in the United States. Gap is a proud sponsor of the 2008 Whitney Biennial, currently on view at the Whitney until June 1, 2008.
"We're delighted to join with Gap on this project that celebrates contemporary American art with new work from former Whitney Biennial artists," said Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney's Alice Pratt Brown Director. "The Artist Editions project puts art onto our backs and sends it out into the street and into the world. Gap, Art Production Fund, and the Whitney are united in recognizing the immediacy and importance of contemporary art and its vital place in our lives. We're deeply grateful to Gap and APF for their fantastic support and involvement on this project and on the 2008 Whitney Biennial."
The limited edition collection is available exclusively at select Gap stores in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and franchise markets, as well as online in the U.S. at gap.com. It’s also available at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and at Colette, a Paris-based boutique. The t-shirts range in price from $28 to $38.
Marketing Campaign Features Artists, Stephanie Seymour and Shalom Harlow
In support of the Artist Editions T-shirts, Gap is unveiling a print campaign developed by Laird + Partners and shot by acclaimed fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. The campaign features the artists in the t-shirts they designed, as well as models Stephanie Seymour in the t-shirt designed by Jeff Koons and Shalom Harlow in the t-shirt designed by Barbara Kruger.
While the overall images are shot in black and white, the t-shirts are in color creating a powerful effect. The campaign will be featured in the June issues of Vanity Fair, Vogue, The New Yorker and W, as well as in newspapers and in outdoor in select markets. The images will also be featured in select Gap stores nationwide.
About the Artists
Chuck Close (b. 1940) Whitney Biennial: 1969, 1972, 1977, 1979, 1991
Chuck Close is a leading figure in the development of photo-based painting. Close’s work has been the subject of more than 150 solo exhibitions including many major museum retrospectives, including the most recent exhibition, Chuck Close Paintings: 1968 / 2006, at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2007, which traveled to the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen, Germany, and is currently being exhibited at The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Jeff Koons (b. 1955) Whitney Biennial: 1987, 1989
Jeff Koons’ work has been exhibited internationally and is in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, The National Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tate Gallery, and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum. Mr. Koons is known for his iconic sculptures such as Michael Jackson & Bubbles, Rabbit and Puppy. Currently Mr. Koons’s sculptures can be seen in the exhibition Jeff Koons on the Roof at the Metropolitan Museum, featuring several works in The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. A solo exhibition of his work will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago on May 31st, entitled Jeff Koons, and in September he will be the first living artist to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles. Mr. Koons studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976.
Marilyn Minter (b. 1948) Whitney Biennial: 2006
Marilyn Minter’s works have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions over the course of her career, including a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2005 and shows in Sweden, the U.K., France and Spain. Her recent works have focused on hyper-realistic close-ups of glamorous images, including makeup-laden lips, eyes, and toes. In 2007, her first retrospective monograph was published. She was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and studied at the University of Florida and Syracuse University, where she received an MFA.
Kiki Smith (b. 1954) Whitney Biennial: 2002
Kiki Smith is an artist of international prominence whose career has thus far spanned over three decades. Smith is a leading proponent of artists addressing philosophical, social, legal, and spiritual aspects of human nature. The Museum Haus Esters in Krefeld, Germany is currently exhibiting Kiki Smith: Her Home, an exhibition of new works that explore a woman's life from birth to death, through August 24, 2008.
Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957) Whitney Biennial: 2000
Cai Guo-Qiang’s work has, since the outset, been scholarly and often politically charged. His solo exhibitions and projects include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mass MoCA, Smithsonian Institution, Tate Modern, The Museum of Modern Art, APEC, and a retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum now through May 28, 2008. He is also serving as director of visual and special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games this August.
Ashley Bickerton (b. 1959) Whitney Biennial: 1989, 2000
Ashley Bickerton has exhibited worldwide, and his works are included in many museum and public art collections. Currently, his work can be seen in Fractured Figure: Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection at the Deste Foundation in Athens, Greece. Upcoming exhibitions include SAND: Shifting Boundaries/Mutable Meanings at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York. He was born in the West Indies in 1959.
Barbara Kruger (b. 1945) Whitney Biennial: 1973, 1983, 1985, 1987
Barbara Kruger is an artist who, since the late 1970s, has explored the juxtaposition of image and text. Her bold works combining black-and-white photography and white-on-red type have become icons of late 20th Century art. With each successive exhibition, Kruger has demonstrated an embrace of new materials and technology, while remaining faithful to her acute, often humorous, critique of popular society and culture.
Kenny Scharf (b. 1958) Whitney Biennial: 1985
Kenny Scharf is a pop-surrealist artist who rose to fame in the New York downtown art scene in the 1980s, alongside his friends including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His diversified oeuvre, unified by his satirical pop aesthetic, includes a mélange of paintings, sculpture, installations, consumer products, and an animated special. Following his inclusion in the 1985 Whitney Biennial, Scharf has continued to be the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions.
Glenn Ligon (b.1960) Whitney Biennial: 1991, 1993
New York artist Glenn Ligon has exhibited his paintings, neon sculptures, and photography-based work internationally for more than a decade. His work currently appears in the group show Archive Fever--Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, at the International Center for Photography, New York, and Black Is, Black Ain't, at the Renaissance Society, Chicago. He is in the collections of the Tate Modern, London, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Rirkrit Tiravanija (b.1961) Whitney Biennial: 2006
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists of his generation. His work defies media-based description, as his practice combines traditional object making, public and private performances, teaching, and other forms of public service and social action. He has had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum Bojmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam that was then presented in Paris and London.
Kerry James Marshall (b. 1955) Whitney Biennial: 1997
Kerry James Marshall is known for large-scale paintings, sculptures, and other objects that take African-American life and history as their subject matter. His work has been exhibited in many American and international exhibitions, and in 1998, he had his first major solo exhibition, organized at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. In 2007, he was featured in Documenta 12. Marshall studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, from which he received a BFA and an honorary doctorate in 1999.
Hanna Liden (b. 1976) Whitney Biennial: 2006
Hanna Liden has exhibited extensively internationally and within the United States. She has had solo exhibitions at Rivington Arms in 2004 and 2006, and at Peter Kilchmann Gallery, Zurich in 2006. Her work has recently been included in Day for Night 2006 Whitney Biennial, and in group-exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Max Wigram Gallery, London, and Gagosian Gallery, Bortolami Dayan Gallery, and White Columns in New York.
Sarah Sze (b. 1969) Whitney Biennial: 2000
Since the late 1990s Sarah Sze's signature sculptural aesthetic has presented ephemeral installations that penetrate walls, suspend from ceilings and burrow into the ground. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003 and has exhibited in many international institutions over the past decade. Sze’s work can be found in both public and private collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Foundation Cartier Collection, Paris.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading international specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Piperlime brand names. Fiscal 2007 sales were $15.8 billion. Gap Inc. operates more than 3,100 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Ireland and Japan. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements for Gap and Banana Republic in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. For more information, please visit gapinc.com.
About the Whitney
The Whitney Museum of American Art is the leading advocate of 20th- and 21st – century American art. Founded in 1930, the Museum is regarded at the preeminent collection of American art and includes major works and materials form the estate of Edward Hopper, the largest public collection of works by Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, and Lucas Samaras, as well as significant works by Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Claes Oldenburg, Kiki Smith and Andy Warhol, among other artists. With its history of exhibiting the most promising and influential American artists and provoking intense critical and public debate, the Whitney’s signature show, the Biennial, has become the most important survey of contemporary art in America today.
About Art Production Fund
Art Production Fund (APF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Projects include: SHOW, Vanessa Beecroft, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1998; FISCHERSPOONER: LA, performance, 2001; Keith + Farrah, collaborative exhibition by Keith Edmier and Farrah Fawcett, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Andy Warhol Museum, 2003; PLAN B, Rudolf Stingel summer 2004, Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall and The Walker Art Center; Prada Marfa, Elmgreen & Dragset, Valentine, TX, 2005, permanent; Greeting Card, Aaron Young, Park Avenue Armory, 2007; Electric Fountain, Noble & Webster, Rockefeller Plaza, 2008; The Whitney Biennial, Park Avenue Armory, 2008. Co-Founders: Yvonne Force Villareal & Doreen Remen; Director: Casey Fremont.