This exhibition celebrates the landmark gift of the Friday Foundation in honor of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis. In addition to the 19 new works in the museum’s collection, Frisson features two paintings previously gifted to the museum: the portrait Richard Lang (1978) by Alice Neel, and Andy Warhol’s double portrait of Jane Lang (1976). The extraordinary Lang Collection, assembled in little more than a decade, represent one of the most significant holdings of Abstract Expressionist paintings and sculpture, as well as works by two towering artists of post-war Europe.
Spanning the years 1945 and 1976, the paintings, drawings, and sculptures in Frisson serve as significant examples of mature works and pivotal moments of artistic development from some of the most influential American and European artists of the post-war period, including Francis Bacon, Lee Krasner, Clyfford Still, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, David Smith, and others. Taken together, they represent an inimitable archive of innovation and a cross-pollination of leading artistic positions in the post-war year.
Seattle collectors Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis were frequent visitors to New York in the 1970s and early 1980s when they collaboratively built their collection, filling their home with singular works of art. Their shared legacy and passion for engaging thoughtfully, deeply, and personally with art—and the frisson of excitement that arises with such a connection—will be celebrated and echoed in this special exhibition.
Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection was made possible by the Friday Foundation.
Published on the occasion of the Friday Foundation’s gift of nineteen singular works to the Seattle Art Museum, this volume celebrates the Langs’ shared legacy and passion for thoughtful, deep, and personal engagement with art—and the frisson of excitement that arises with such a connection. The newly commissioned texts by leading experts in this volume gather in-depth research and new insights about this exemplary group of artworks.
Edited by Catharina Manchanda. With contributions by David Anfam, Michael Brenson, John Elderfield, Jack Flam, Carter E. Foster, Catherine Grenier, Bruce Guenther, Martin Harrison, Sanford Hirsch, Norman L. Kleeblatt, Eleanor Nairne, Amy Rahn, Elizabeth A. T. Smith, Robert Storr, Carol Vogel, and Jeffrey Weiss.
Purchase your copy of the exhibition catalogue online or in the SAM Shop on the ground floor at Seattle Art Museum.
Installation views of Frisson: The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection at Seattle Art Museum, 2021, © Seattle Art Museum, photo: Jueqian Fang.