“Silence=Death” Exhibition

David Zwirner 19th Street

poster for “Silence=Death” Exhibition

This event has ended.

David Zwirner presents an exhibition centered on the now iconic Silence=Death poster as well as other agitprop created by artist-activist collectives in the late 1980s in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Three original posters—some of the most influential images of political art in United States history—will be contextualized with a range of ephemera that charts the birth of AIDS activism, drawn largely from the collection of Avram Finkelstein, a founding member of Silence=Death and the subsequent collective Gran Fury.

Formed in 1986 as a consciousness-raising group, the Silence=Death collective was inspired to create a poster to be wheat-pasted around New York City as a political statement. Forgoing photographic documentation of the unfolding crisis in favor of a simple design that featured a pink triangle floating on a black background with the words “Silence=Death” emblazoned below, this image became a powerful symbol of solidarity, pride, and political dissent.

The exhibition will also include photographs by t.l. litt, Donna Binder, and Lola Flash, who were pivotal in capturing images of the movement, as well as a neon sign of the Silence=Death motif, which hung in the window of the New Museum, then located at 583 Broadway, as part of curator William Olander’s landmark 1987 exhibition Let the Record Show….

A limited-edition Silence=Death print will be available on Platform, with proceeds benefiting Visual AIDS.



from June 24, 2021 to August 03, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-06-24 from 18:00 to 20:00

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