Fund will support commission of new works by contemporary artists; first recipient will be Donna Huanca
The Henry Art Gallery is pleased to announce that the museum is the recipient of a $1 million endowment fund from the Friday Foundation in honor of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis, long-term supporters of the arts and of the Henry. The newly established fund, the first of its kind at the Henry, will allow the contemporary art museum to commission a new work every two years.
"We're honored to receive this extraordinary legacy gift," says Sylvia Wolf, John S. Behnke Director of the Henry Art Gallery. The Langs understood the transformational power of the arts and shared generously to strengthen arts organizations, build community, and inspire others to create and give. Within the Seattle community, Jane Lang Davis was a founding member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Together with her husband, they contributed to the growth of the local opera and symphony, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Henry, where her service spanned more than four decades. "As a Trustee, a key member of our Advisory Council and Collection Committee, and a trusted advisor and advocate, Jane supported the Henry through her vast knowledge of modern and contemporary art and her vivid presence as a civic leader," Wolf says. "Her contributions have been deep and profound and - with this gift - will continue in perpetuity."
A museum of contemporary art and ideas, the Henry is internationally recognized for groundbreaking exhibitions, for being first in the field to champion artists who go on to global acclaim, and for premiering and sponsoring new works by artists of note. With its location on the University of Washington's campus, one of the nation's top research universities, the museum is also a test site for creative thinking. "The Henry has a long tradition of inviting artists to consider the museum as a laboratory for new ideas," Wolf says. "This gift allows us to expand this practice and to deepen our service to artists, audiences, and the field at large. It will also connect our UW community and students of all ages with living artists and their creative processes."
The first commissioned work supported by the Richard E. and Jane Lang Davis New Works Fund will be artist Donna Huanca, who will create a solo exhibition at the Henry in 2022. The Bolivian-American artist (U.S., born 1980) creates work that destabilizes the male gaze while exploring femme and Indigenous, specifically Andean, narratives and mark-making. Huanca's installations encompass painting, sculpture, and live performance. She has had solo exhibitions at Marciano Art Foundation (Los Angeles), Copenhagen Contemporary, the Belvedere Museum (Vienna), Zabludowicz Collection (London), Malmö Konsthall, Yuz Museum (Shanghai), MoMA PS1 (New York), and Peres Projects (Berlin), among others.
Huanca's art, which is fundamentally site specific, is deeply invested in Bolivian rituals. For her exhibition at the Henry, the artist plans to create an architecturally immersive environment, resembling a labyrinth or a forest, and offering a meditative journey of discovery for the viewer through "private spaces" for viewing paintings, video, and sculpture. The Henry and the artist will work with a number of community organizations to identify performers for the exhibition films and to launch dialogue on its themes, including gender, Indigeneity, sexuality, and ritual.
The Henry is one of nine Seattle arts organizations to receive funds through the Friday Foundation. Additional recipients include Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, ArtsFund, ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and Seattle Rep. The Langs loved Seattle. Their legacy is a testament to their commitment to Seattle's performing and visual arts, which they considered fundamental to the health and growth of the community at large.
About the Friday Foundation
The Friday Foundation is dedicated to supporting arts organizations following the passion and philanthropy of Jane Lang Davis and Richard E. Lang during their lifetimes. Visit fridayfoundationarts.org to learn more.
About the Henry
A museum of contemporary art and ideas, the Henry Art Gallery presents exhibitions by a multi-national roster of emerging and mid-career artists. Known for taking risks and for allowing space for uncertain outcomes, we anticipate the conversations and opinions that will be important and relevant in the field. henryart.org
Courtesy of the Henry Art Gallery