Art Institute of Chicago Receives Massive Gift

Jasper Johns. Target, 1961. Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago has received the the largest gift of art in the museum’s 136-year history. The Edlis/Neeson Collection includes 42 iconic masterpieces of contemporary art donated by the Chicago-based collectors and philanthropists Stefan T. Edlis and his wife, Gael Neeson. The gift includes nine works by Andy Warhol, three paintings by Jasper Johns, one Robert Rauschenberg Combine, two paintings by Roy Lichtenstein, four paintings by Gerhard Richter, and a painting and sculpture by Cy Twombly. Works by Brice Marden, Eric Fischl, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Charles Ray, Takashi Murakami, Katharina Fritsch, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, and John Currin complete the exceptional gift.

The heart of the collection is nine works by Andy Warhol, including two self-portraits (1964 and 1966), Twelve Jackies (1964), Big Electric Chair (1967–68), and the later works Mona Lisa Four Times (1978) and Pat Hearn (diptych) (1985). Jasper Johns is represented by three archetypal paintings: Target (1961), Figure 4 (1959), and Alphabet (1959).

Two later Roy Lichtenstein paintings—Artist’s Studio “Foot Medication” (1974) and Woman III (1982)—trace the legacy of Pop Art into the 1970s and 1980s, a story carried into sculptures by Jeff Koons, included here with Christ and the Lamb (1988) and Bourgeois Bust – Jeff and Ilona (1991).

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