Collection Artwork
A white flower with purple edges is illuminated on a black, circular background, with “MERCY” appearing on the flower’s center. Light emanates from behind the sculpture on a grey wall.
A white flower with purple edges is illuminated on a black, circular background, with “MERCY” appearing on the flower’s center. Light emanates from behind the sculpture on a grey wall.
A white flower with purple edges is illuminated on a black, circular background, with “MERCY” appearing on the flower’s center. Light emanates from behind the sculpture on a grey wall.
A white flower with purple edges is illuminated on a black, circular background, with “MERCY” appearing on the flower’s center. Light emanates from behind the sculpture on a grey wall.
Donald Moffett (born San Antonio, Texas, 1955)
Mercy
1991
translucent photograph mounted on light box
light box size: 13 5/8 x 13 5/8 x 3 7/8 in.
Gift of the Hort Family Collection
2009.7.8
63/100
Signed, dated, and inscribed in black ink, verso, upper center: D. Moffett 1991 / 63/100
Typewritten label, adhered, verso, lower right: TheNewMuseum / OF CONTEMPORARY ART / 583 Broadway / New York, NY 10012 / 212-219-1222 / DONALD MOFFETT / “Mercy”, 1991 / Mixed Media Installation / Light Boxes / 14 in. diameter / Edition of 100 / New Museum Publication / # 63 of 100

Installation views

Object Label

To show mercy is to show compassion when it is possible to harm; it is a simple, human gesture, but during the AIDS crisis, it became a desperate plea—for medicine, for government assistance, for support, for understanding, for prevention.

A single illuminated rose represents a thousand lives lost to AIDS in the United States. Donald Moffett installed one hundred identical Mercys in the New Museum’s 1991 exhibition The Interrupted Life: one hundred thousand deaths, and the number kept growing. In visualizing loss, Mercy offers a way to comprehend death in numbers otherwise unfathomable.

From the exhibition: Give a damn. (June 30 – September 30, 2018)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

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Give a damn.
Exhibition
Eye Rhymes
Exhibition
Look After Each Other:
Intimacy and Community
Exhibition
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Pattern by Madeleine Welsch ’17
Inspired by the exhibition Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.