Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer. Photo: Nanda Lanfranco

 

Jenny Holzer (*1950) has been probing the aesthetic and political intersection of language, installation, and painting since the late 1970s. Holzer displays her own and other texts in a variety of media, including LED tickers and light projections in public spaces, confronting current events and topics such as war and sexual violence in a way that defies didacticism and challenges the viewer’s passivity. The New York-based artist has been with the gallery since 1986, first represented by Galerie Monika Sprüth, then by Sprüth Magers.

 

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Holzer’s dialogue with the kinds of language-based conceptual art exemplified by Lawrence Weiner and Joseph Kosuth is particularly evident in early works such as Truisms (1977–1979) and Inflammatory Essays (1979–1982). For these works, the artist printed enigmatic epigrams on posters and secretly affixed them to the walls of buildings and subway stations in New York. Directed at anonymous passersby, the texts were often based on philosophical readings and struck a clear contrast to the structuralist and analytical language models favored by her predecessors. Viewers were often unable to discern which messages were ironic and which were sincere; nor could they make out the political position underpinning those idiosyncratic, sometimes contradictory statements. They could only sort these texts out for themselves, reflecting on what they had read and allowing their own, personal feelings to take hold.

Holzer’s text works have appeared on a multitude of materials—from T-shirts, caps and golf balls to programmed light-emitting diodes, screen prints, oil paintings, sarcophagi and benches made of marble, granite and labradorite. Her messages could be seen on trucks driving through cities like Washington D.C., racecars and a small plane. She has designed expansive, robotic LED text sculptures that respond to viewers’ movements in space and projected texts onto some of the world’s most iconic buildings and landscapes, including the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the Louvre in Paris, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, the New York Public Library, the Arno in Florence and the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome.

Holzer continually changes and updates both her media and her sources. The artist’s texts range from distillations of novels by Annie Dillard and Elfriede Jelinek to passages from Michel de Montaigne’s Essays and Wisława Szymborska’s poetry. Another, more recent point of focus has been her work with classified U.S. government documents, which often report on torture and military interventions in euphemistic jargon and only reach the public after being censored and blacked-out, sometimes to the point of illegibility.

Holzer’s works stem from a desire to make art for a wider audience. She often puts media traditionally reserved for advertising in public spaces at art’s disposal. Her pieces build on the sensual vocabulary of Mark Rothko, the minimalism of Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, and the socio-political theories of the Russian Constructivists, among others. Holzer creates aesthetic experiences between meditation and incantation, denunciation and assurance. In doing so, she succeeds in transforming nothing less than the traditional process of reading, inviting viewers to become conscious of its associative, intellectual and emotional consequences. She exposes entrenched assumptions and behavioral patterns in our shared understanding, penetrating deep into the collective unease of our times.

 

Jenny Holzer: SOFTER
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, September 28–December 31, 2017
© 2017 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

 

Works
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Truisms 1977–79, 1998

Jenny Holzer
Truisms 1977–79, 1998
Horizontal LED sign with red diodes and black housing
15.2 × 135.8 × 11.4 cm
6 × 53 1/2 × 44 7/8 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Minor Victim-3, 2022

Jenny Holzer
Minor Victim-3, 2022
Text: U.S. government document
Caplain gold and moon gold leaf and oil on linen
203.2 × 157.5 × 3.8 cm
80 × 62 × 1 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019

Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019
Text: Truisms (1977–79)
Oak Stone bench
43.2 × 121.9 × 50.8 cm
17 × 48 × 20 inches

More views
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Survival, 1989

Jenny Holzer
Survival, 1989
Text: Survival (1980–82)
Horizontal LED sign with red diodes and black housing
13.3 × 276.9 × 7.6 cm
5 1/4 × 109 × 3 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Text: Selections from Truisms (1977–79) and Survival (1980–82)
10 double-sided, semicircular electronic LED signs: red and blue diodes on front, blue and white diodes on back; Housing: stainless steel
13.3 × 230.3 × 15 cm
5 1/4 × 90 3/4 × 6 inches

More views
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Phase III Actions metal, 2007–21

Jenny Holzer
Phase III Actions metal, 2007–21
Text: U.S. government document
Caplain gold, moon gold, palladium and platinum leaf and oil on linen
200.7 × 259.7 × 3.8 cm
79 × 102 1/4 × 1 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS, 2017

Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS, 2017
Text: Poetry by Anna Świrszczyńska
7 curved Nero Portoro marble benches
Dimensions variable

More views
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Survival Series: Protect me from what I want..., 1984

Jenny Holzer
Survival Series: Protect me from what I want…, 1984
Text on cast aluminum plaque
15.2 × 24.1 cm
6 × 9 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Text: Selection from Truisms (1977–79) and Survival (1983–85), Erlauf (1995) and Arno (1996)
Stone wall engraved with text
Permanent installation, Wanås Foundation, Knsilinge, Sweden
ca. 187100 cm
73661 3/8 inches approximately

More views
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Right Hand DOD-044403, 2007

Jenny Holzer
Right Hand DOD-044403, 2007
Oil on linen
147.3 × 111.8 × 3.8 cm
58 × 44 × 1 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, 2005

Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, 2005
Text: Mother and Child (1990)
LED sign with blue diodes, permanent installation
1210.2 × 13.7 × 13.7 cm
476 1/2 × 5 3/8 × 5 3/8 inches

More views
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Living Series: Enamel Signs, 1981

Jenny Holzer
Living Series: Enamel Signs, 1981
Text: Living (1980–82)
Installation view, hand-painted enamel on metal sign: black on white or red on white
Each 53.3 × 58.4 cm
Each 21 × 23 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Survival: UNEX Sign, 1983

Jenny Holzer
Survival: UNEX Sign, 1983
Text: Survival (1983–85)
Horizontal LED sign: red, green, and blue diodes; black powder-coated aluminum housing
77.5 × 288.3 × 30.5 cm
30 1/2 × 113 1/2 × 12 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
More people will be building hiding places..., 1980–82

Jenny Holzer
More people will be building hiding places…, 1980–82
Carbon on tracing paper
58.7 × 106.7 cm
23,12 × 42 inches

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine..., 2019

Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine…, 2019
Text: Truisms (1977–79)
Azul do Mar quartzite footstool
43.2 × 63.5 × 40.6 cm
17 × 25 × 16 inches

More views
Details
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Truisms 1977–79, 1998
Horizontal LED sign with red diodes and black housing
15.2 × 135.8 × 11.4 cm
6 × 53 1/2 × 44 7/8 inches

Jenny Holzer
Truisms 1977–79, 1998
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Minor Victim-3, 2022
Text: U.S. government document
Caplain gold and moon gold leaf and oil on linen
203.2 × 157.5 × 3.8 cm
80 × 62 × 1 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Minor Victim-3, 2022
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019
Text: Truisms (1977–79)
Oak Stone bench
43.2 × 121.9 × 50.8 cm
17 × 48 × 20 inches

Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019

Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019

Jenny Holzer
Humor is a release, 2019
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Survival, 1989
Text: Survival (1980–82)
Horizontal LED sign with red diodes and black housing
13.3 × 276.9 × 7.6 cm
5 1/4 × 109 × 3 inches

Jenny Holzer
Survival, 1989
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Text: Selections from Truisms (1977–79) and Survival (1980–82)
10 double-sided, semicircular electronic LED signs: red and blue diodes on front, blue and white diodes on back; Housing: stainless steel
13.3 × 230.3 × 15 cm
5 1/4 × 90 3/4 × 6 inches

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007

Jenny Holzer
TORSO, 2007
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Phase III Actions metal, 2007–21
Text: U.S. government document
Caplain gold, moon gold, palladium and platinum leaf and oil on linen
200.7 × 259.7 × 3.8 cm
79 × 102 1/4 × 1 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Phase III Actions metal, 2007–21
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS, 2017
Text: Poetry by Anna Świrszczyńska
7 curved Nero Portoro marble benches
Dimensions variable

Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS, 2017
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS, 2017

Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS, Text: Poetry by Anna Świrszczyńska, 2017
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS, 2017 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
SUCH WORDS
Text: Poetry by Anna Świrszczyńska
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Survival Series: Protect me from what I want…, 1984
Text on cast aluminum plaque
15.2 × 24.1 cm
6 × 9 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Survival Series: Protect me from what I want..., 1984
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Text: Selection from Truisms (1977–79) and Survival (1983–85), Erlauf (1995) and Arno (1996)
Stone wall engraved with text
Permanent installation, Wanås Foundation, Knsilinge, Sweden
ca. 187100 cm
73661 3/8 inches approximately

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002 (detail)

Jenny Holzer
Wanås Wall, 2002
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Right Hand DOD-044403, 2007
Oil on linen
147.3 × 111.8 × 3.8 cm
58 × 44 × 1 1/2 inches

Jenny Holzer
Right Hand DOD-044403, 2007
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, 2005
Text: Mother and Child (1990)
LED sign with blue diodes, permanent installation
1210.2 × 13.7 × 13.7 cm
476 1/2 × 5 3/8 × 5 3/8 inches

Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, 2005
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, 2005

Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, Text: Mother and Child (1990), 2005
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, 2005

Jenny Holzer
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, Text: Mother and Child (1990), 2005
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Living Series: Enamel Signs, 1981
Text: Living (1980–82)
Installation view, hand-painted enamel on metal sign: black on white or red on white
Each 53.3 × 58.4 cm
Each 21 × 23 inches

Jenny Holzer
Living Series: Enamel Signs, 1981
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Survival: UNEX Sign, 1983
Text: Survival (1983–85)
Horizontal LED sign: red, green, and blue diodes; black powder-coated aluminum housing
77.5 × 288.3 × 30.5 cm
30 1/2 × 113 1/2 × 12 inches

Jenny Holzer
Survival: UNEX Sign, 1983
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
More people will be building hiding places…, 1980–82
Carbon on tracing paper
58.7 × 106.7 cm
23,12 × 42 inches

Jenny Holzer
More people will be building hiding places..., 1980–82
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine…, 2019
Text: Truisms (1977–79)
Azul do Mar quartzite footstool
43.2 × 63.5 × 40.6 cm
17 × 25 × 16 inches

Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine..., 2019
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine…, 2019

Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine..., 2019
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine…, 2019

Jenny Holzer
Selection from Truisms: Your actions determine..., 2019
Details
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Current and Upcoming
Jenny Holzer
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Memory is your image of perfection), 1984

Script Girls
Group Exhibition
Musée Champollion – Les Écritures du Monde, Figeac
Through May 26, 2024

In a male-dominated society where women’s voices have long been confined to the domestic sphere, writing appears to be a means of transgression and a vector of emancipation. Language is not neutral, but a means of self-assertion. Writing is thus an important element in the fight for women’s rights. The use of the written word in art by women artists is therefore not insignificant, and reflects a number of questions and struggles that go far beyond feminism. Featuring works of 23 artists of different nationalities, including Annette Messager, Sophie Calle, Jenny Holzer, Nil Yalter, Vera Molnar and the Guerilla Girls, Script Girls explores at the act of writing in the work of women artists from the 1970s to the present day.

Link

How language constructs the World
Group Exhibition
Bündner Museum, Chur
Through July 28, 2024

The linguistic and cultural landscape of Graubünden serves as the starting point for the exhibition How Language Constructs the World. The Bündner Kunstmuseum thus takes up a major theme of human culture and localises this regional characteristic in a global context. By focussing on a selection of works by national and international artists as well as historical artefacts from Graubünden, the importance of language and narrative in community and society is highlighted.

Link
Jenny Holzer
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Only the unborn have your right to life), 1986
Jenny Holzer
Sarah Lucas, Titti Doris, 2017 (detail)
© Sarah Lucas, 2024. Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London and Contemporary Fine Art, Berlin. Photo: Jochen Littkemann

If not now, when?
Group Exhibition
Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag
Through September 8, 2024

If not now, when? presents an international selection of over seventy sculptures and installations from the collection of art collector Max Vorst. The exhibition gives an impressive overview on the developments in contemporary sculpture in the twenty-first century and demonstrates the diversity, originality and high quality of one of the most important private art collections in The Netherlands, and it connects themes such as the contemporary image of the human form, abstraction, rhythm and construction while also showing the blurring of time.

Link

Jenny Holzer
Light Line
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York
Through September 29, 2024

This exhibition will present a reimagination of Jenny Holzer’s landmark 1989 installation at the Guggenheim. Climbing all six ramps of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda to the building’s apex, the new manifestation of Holzer’s electronic sign extends and builds upon the artist’s vision from thirty-five years earlier. The site-specific work will transform the building with a display of scrolling texts from her earliest series of truisms and aphorisms to more recent experiments with language generated by artificial intelligence. Holzer’s iconic use of the written word throughout her career has long captivated audiences around the world and this solo exhibition will feature little known examples of Holzer’s work spanning her career from the 1980s through today.

Link
Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer, installation view, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, December 12, 1989–February 25, 1990
© Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. Photo: David Heald
Jenny Holzer
Astrid Klein, Untitled (Pasolini I), 1993
© Astrid Klein, 2024. Photo: Ingo Kniest

Pasolini in chiaroscuro
Group Exhibition
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber
Through September 29, 2024

Pasolini is perhaps the last European intellectual to have gained worldwide renown. A half-century on from his death, his influence can still be felt across the different fields in which he worked: he is read, commented on, adapted, and inspires contemporary creative artists. While he preferred to describe himself as a writer, it was his films that brought him to the public’s attention. Cinema, which acted as the perfect sounding board for his political ideas, occupies a central place in his oeuvre. And it is this aspect of his work, seen through the prism of the influence of classical and contemporary art on the aesthetic of his cinematographic work, that is the main focus of “Pasolini in chiaroscuro”.

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Exhibitions at Sprüth Magers
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
FULL OF JOY
September 5–October 26, 2024
New York

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are pleased to present a solo exhibition focused on Jenny Holzer’s works on paper, the artist’s first show at Sprüth Magers’ New York gallery. Holzer’s stonework drawings, which were used to set the text for her benches and sarcophagi, offer a glimpse into the artist’s process, in part through her handwritten notations. Also on view will be tracings of documents from federal agency reports, investigations, military and intelligence operations, and other sources. While these tracings began as process drawings for Holzer’s Redaction Paintings, some have become artworks, with gestural marks in graphite and charcoal adding layers of interest to the artist’s use of material and language. Here are fingerprints.

Mondi Possibili
Henni Alftan, John Baldessari, Cao Fei, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Lucy Dodd, Robert Elfgen, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Jenny Holzer, Donald Judd, Karen Kilimnik, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, David Ostrowski, Michail Pirgelis, Sterling Ruby, Thomas Scheibitz, Andreas Schulze, Hyun-Sook Song, Robert Therrien, Rosemarie Trockel, Kaari Upson, Andrea Zittel
August 31–September 14, 2023
Seoul

Mondi Possibili highlights the interplay between art and design and explores the many ways in which experimentation with material, technique and scale can reveal the hidden narratives, quiet drama and humor in the everyday items that furnish our lives as well as our imaginations. Connected through a paradigm of the possible, all artworks on show examine familiar objects – citing, celebrating, adapting or appropriating them – offering surprising, playful or unsettling approaches that open up a range of “possible worlds.” This will be the fourth edition of Sprüth Magers’ Mondi Possibili – first titled by Pasquale Leccese – showcasing significant themes in the selected artists’ works as well as the gallery’s longstanding heritage. Its three previous iterations were presented in 1989, 2006 and 2007 in Cologne, where the gallery’s history is firmly rooted, and art and design have intersected for many decades.

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Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Mies in Mind
John Bock, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Jenny Holzer, Kraftwerk, Reinhard Mucha, Otto Piene, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Scheibitz
August 20–September 4, 2021
Berlin

As part of the exhibition parcours Mies In Mind, initiated by INDEX Berlin and taking place on the occasion of the reopening of the Neue Nationalgalerie, Sprüth Magers is showcasing works by John Bock, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Jenny Holzer, Reinhard Mucha, Otto Piene, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Scheibitz in a group exhibition that pays tribute to the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his famous building.

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Eau de Cologne
Rosemarie Trockel, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jenny Holzer / Lady Pink
June 28–August 20, 2016
Los Angeles

The group show Eau de Cologne at Sprüth Magers in Los Angeles features work from the late 1970s to 2016 by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Rosemarie Trockel. The exhibition at Sprüth Magers’ recently-opened Los Angeles gallery is a follow–up to its predecessor in Berlin last year. It sheds light on key topics in these artists’ works, but also the specific history of the gallery and its connection to these important female figures of an art that subtly addresses women’s roles in very different ways.

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Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Endgame
April 27–June 16, 2012
Berlin

Entitled Endgame, the exhibition includes a series of paintings marking the artist’s return to the medium after more than thirty years. Holzer searches for ways to make narrative a part of visual objects, employing an innovative range of materials and presentations to confront emotions and experiences, politics and conflict. While looking for subject matter for electronics and projections, the artist located a number of redacted, declassified government documents including policy memos, autopsy reports, and statements by American administration officials, soldiers, detainees, and others, generated during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Jenny Holzer
Detained
January 31–March 15, 2008
London

Beginning with her 2004 exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, Holzer has made the study of declassified US government documents the content for her context-based practice. Incorporating memos, sworn statements, emails, directives, judgments, and other government materials regarding the situation in the Middle East into paintings, large scale light projections, and electronic signs, Holzer has harnessed a variety of approaches to make sensate the accounting of war and torture.

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Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Highly Sensitive
June 5–September 1, 2007
Cologne

The works shown in the exhibition Highly Sensitive continue a theme that Jenny Holzer began with a work for the magazine Wired in 2004 and continued in her solo exhibition at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Truth before Power, in which she made the balance between transparency and security within a democratic government her theme. Her most recent work is based on the political landscape of the USA after 9/11 and the debate about covert investigations, mistreatment of prisoners of war and war tragedies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, which Jenny Holzer reveals through written instructions, emails and testimonies of decision-makers, soldiers and prisoners. In her Redaction Paintings Holzer shows documents from government and military circles that have been published in the course of the Freedom of Information Act.

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Jenny Holzer
SECRET
March 29–May 19, 2007
Munich

In her latest works, Jenny Holzer negotiates the political landscape after 9/11 and traces the debate over covert operations, prisoner abuse, and war tragedies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay through the directives, emails, and testimonies of policy makers, soldiers, and prisoners. In her Redaction Paintings Holzer shows sensitive governmental and military documents, released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Not originally intended for the public, many of these documents were heavily redacted by the United States Government prior to their release. Without subscribing to any particular ideology, Holzer presents text as material in her paintings, evoking a certain curiosity about the actual meaning of the words on the page, which, in their original context, are typically overlooked due to the continuous flow of information we encounter daily.

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Mondi Possibili
Thea Djordjadze, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Claus Föttinger, Thomas Grünfeld, Jenny Holzer, Stefan Kern, Joseph Kosuth, Louise Lawler, Michail Pirgelis, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Thomas Scheibitz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Franz West
January 17–April 7, 2006
Cologne

As part of the PASSAGEN, the supporting programme of the International Furniture Fair in Cologne, at the beginning of the year Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers present a new edition of the exhibition “Mondi Possibili”. The works on display deal with the subject of furniture from a variety of angles: as citation, as homage, as adaptation, or as copy. Others are usable objects that hardly differ from their reference objects in the domain of design or furniture.

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Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
February 3–April 2, 2005
London

Sprüth Magers Lee is proud to present new work by American artist Jenny Holzer.
Over the past thirty years, Holzer has punctuated the art world with an exploration of text that seeks to highlight and challenge language’s many forms of presentation, interpretation and perceived authority. Holzer’s numerous installations, in both traditional exhibition contexts and within public spaces demonstrate the range of her chosen mediums. The artist’s deft execution of such manoeuvres allows her to continually locate her audience within the changing interior of the texts.

Jenny Holzer, Jenny Holzer / Lady Pink
Hot Pink
November 11–December 31, 2004
Munich

HOT PINK features six paintings created in collaboration by Jenny Holzer and Lady Pink. During the early 1980s, while Holzer was plastering the streets of New York City with her posters and stickers, Lady Pink and other graffiti writers, such as A-One and Lee were spray-painting trains and buildings throughout the city. Five of the works in the show date to this period, a time when Holzer would invite Lady Pink to her Lower East Side loft to work together on canvases. Lady Pink created the images, for which Holzer devised the text, sometimes drawing lines, such as SAVOR KINDNESS BECAUSE CRUELTY IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE LATER or YOU ARE TRAPPED ON THE EARTH SO YOU WILL EXPLODE from her Survival series.

The classic motif of art history appears here in a contemporary context. As fluid as the boundaries between art and the public were in Holzer's works back then, this aspect is still current and a central point for the artist. The date of origin of most of these works on display does not detract from their topicality, on the contrary, their content is more relevant today than ever.

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Shadow and Light
Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Olafur Eliasson, Martin Fengel, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Dan Flavin, Sylvie Fleury, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Thomas Grünfeld, Andreas Gursky, Stefan Hirsig, Jenny Holzer, Axel Kasseböhmer, Stefan Kern, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Louise Lawler, Anne Loch, Paul Morrison, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Bruce Nauman, Manuel Ocampo, Nam June Paik, Hirsch Perlman, Lari Pittman, Barbara Probst, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Paul Sietsema, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool, Martin Wöhrl, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
July 26–August 31, 2003
Salzburg

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers will open a temporary space in Salzburg together with their London partner Simon Lee for the duration of the Salzburg Festival. One of the main reasons for this was the fact that the galleries are traditionally closed in August and that exhibition operations are shut down, but at the same time cultural life is at its peak in Salzburg, not far from our Munich location. It makes sense to contribute something to the cultural climate with a precisely formulated group exhibition and at the same time to reach a sophisticated international audience.

20th Anniversary Show
John Baldessari, Alighiero Boetti, George Condo, Walter Dahn, Thomas Demand, Thea Djordjadze, Peter Fischli David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Gary Hume, Axel Kasseböhmer, Karen Kilimnik, Astrid Klein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Nina Pohl, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Frances Scholz, Andreas Schulze, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Andrea Zittel, Philip-Lorca diCorcia
April 25–October 18, 2003
Cologne

In 1983, Monika Sprüth opened her Cologne based gallery with a solo show by Andreas Schulze. Starting from the idea to establish a forum for young and unknown artists, the central focus of the gallery concept was developed in the discourse of the 80s. The gallery program was completed by recourses to artistic attitudes of the last 40 years. This research, motivated by reflection on contemporary art history, was more and more realized in cooperation with Philomene Magers who directed her Bonn gallery since 1992. After a few years of loose cooperation, Monika Sprüth Gallery and Philomene Magers Gallery aligned with each other after, and together the Monika Sprüth / Philomene Magers Gallery opened up in Munich in 1999.

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer "Oh"
March 14–May 4, 2002
Munich

Künstler der Galerie
Peter Fischli David Weiss, Rosemarie Trockel, George Condo, Axel Kasseböhmer, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Anne Loch, Andreas Schulze, Thomas Wachweger, Milan Kunc, Ina Barfuss
June 13–July 15, 1987
Cologne

Jenny Holzer
Press

The 100 Most Influential People of 2024: Jenny Holzer
Time, article by Kiki Smith, April 17, 2024

Artist Jenny Holzer: “Women are not horrible. We’re largely not the problem”
The Guardian, interview by Naomi Huffman, online, January 4, 2023

The nature of art: Jenny Holzer’s Tuscan garden
Financial Times, review by Maria Schollenbarger, September 2021

Word on the Street – Jenny Holzer’s Truck’s and Truisms
Widewalls, review by Balzac Takac, June 2020

Jenny Holzer
Wallpaper, interviewed by Marina Cashdan, October 2019

“I Can See Empty Space as a Three-Dimensional Solid”: Artist Jenny Holzer on How She Fuses Architecture With Language
Artnet News, interview by Randy Kennedy, June 3, 2019

“I want people to attend to the content”– an interview with Jenny Holzer
Apollo, Interview by Gabrielle Schwarz, April 2019

How Jenny Holzer taught the Instagram generation to speak in universal truths 
Sleek, review by Kathryn O’Regan, March 25, 2019

Issues & Commentary: Truisms and Lies
Art in America, review by Leah Pires, October 2018

Women and Power: Jenny Holzer Made Good Things Out of Horror
New York Magazine, article by Amanda Fortini, October 2018

Zu Gast Jenny Holzer
Die Dame, Fall/Winter 2018

Jenny Holzer: Words of Conflict
The Art Newspaper Review, article by Louisa Buck, August 29, 2017

 

Biography

Jenny Holzer (*1950, Gallipolis, OH) lives and works in New York. In May 2024, the Guggenheim New York will present a
reinterpretation of Jenny Holzer’s groundbreaking 1989 installation. In 2023 the largest survey show of her work to date was on view at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf. In 2022, Holzer curated an extensive exhibition on the work of Louise Bourgeois at Kunsthalle Basel. Selected solo shows include Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2019), and Tate Modern, London (2019), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams (2017–present), Blenheim Art Foundation, Woodstock (2017), Lune Rouge and Art Projects Ibiza (2016), Museo Correr, Venice (2015), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011, 2001), DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal and The Baltic, Gateshead (both 2010), Foundation Beyeler, Basel and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (both 2009), The Barbican Centre, London (2006), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1991), Hamburger Kunsthalle (2000), ICA, London (1988), as well as Dia Art Foundation, New York and Guggenheim Museum, New York (both 1989). Group shows include Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (both 2020), MoMA PS1, New York (2019), Whitney Museum, New York (2015, 1996, 1989, 1988, 1983), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014), Hayward Gallery, London (2013, 1992), Malba, Buenos Aires (2012), Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2011), The Barbican Centre, London (2008), MoMA, New York (2008, 2005, 1997, 1996, 1992, 1988), Venice Biennale, Venice (2005), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005, 2000, 1995, 1990, 1988), and documenta 8, Kassel (1987).

https://projects.jennyholzer.com

Education
1977 Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
1976–77 Master of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
1972 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ohio University, Athens
1970–71 University of Chicago, Chicago
1968–70 Duke University, Durham, NC
Awards, Grants and Fellowships
2023 Whitechapel Gallery Art Iconn
2022 WSJ. Magazine 2022 Innovator Award
2019 Jesse L. Rosenberger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative and Performing Arts, The University of Chicago
2018 Doctorate of Fine Arts, Pratt Institute, New York
American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
2017 International Medal of Arts, U.S. Department of State, Washington
2016 Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Ministère de la Culture
Honorary Academician, Royal Academy of Arts, London
2014 Asher B. Durand Award, Brooklyn Museum, New York
2011 Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award, American for the Arts, Washington DC and New York
Amercian Academy of Arts and Science, Cambridge, MA
Medal of Distinction, Barnard College, New York
2010 LA MOCA Award for Distinguished Women in the Arts, Los Angeles
2009 Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art, Smith College, Northampton, MA
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA
2006 Urban Visionaries Award, The Cooper Union, New York
2005 Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, New School University, New York
2004 Resident in Visual Arts, American Academy, Rome
Public Art Network Award, Americans for the Arts, Washington DC and New York
2003 Resident in Visual Arts, American Academy in Rome
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
2002 Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Kaiserring, Goslar
2000 Berlin Prize Fellowship, The Amercian Academy, Berlin
Honorary Doctorate of Arts, Williams College, Williamstown, MA
1996 Crystal Award, World Economic Forum, Geneva
1994 Honorary Doctorate of Arts, University of Ohio, Athens
Skowhegan Medal for Installation, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, New York
1993 Art Director's Club of Europe, Gold Medal for Title, Gold Medal for Design for Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Edition No. 46, 1993, LUSTMORD
1990 Leone d'Oro, grand prize for pavilion XLIV Biennale di Venezia, Venice
Permanent Installations (selected)
2021 Per Ama, Castello di Ama, Gaiole in Chianti, IT
2019 For the Scandinavian, The Scandinavian Golf Club, Farum, DK
Selections from Truisms, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, South Korea
2018 White Light, Transbay Transit Center, San Francisco, USA
For Philadelphia, Comcast Technology Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
The Waging of Peace, United States Embassy, London, UK
2017 For the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, AE
You Have Given Me Love, New York City AIDS Memorial, New York, USA
2016 For Ibiza, Can Soleil, Sant Josep de sa Talaia, ES
2015 For The Garden, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
2014 For Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Los Angeles, USA
Du, Talanx Headquarter, Hannover, DE
I Stay (Ngaya ngalawa), 8 Chifley Building, Sidney, AU
2013 Cliff Sappho, Ekeberg Sculpture and Heritage Park, Oslo, NO
2012 For the FDA, FDA White Oaks Campus, Silver Spring, USA
FOR COWBOYS, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, USA
Kind of Blue, Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, Forth Worth, USA
2011 KölnSkulptur #6 , Skulpturenpark Köln, Cologne, DE
715 molecules, Williams College, Williamstown, USA
2009 VEGAS, MGM Mirage Center, Las Vegas, USA
2007 For SAAM, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, USA
For MCASD, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA
For Busan, Gwangalli Beach, Busan, KR
2006 For Novartis, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, CH
For Elizabeth, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, USA
7 World Trade, Installation for the 7 World Trade Center, New York, USA
2005 For Karlstad, Stora Torget, Karlstad, SE
For Pittsburgh, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, USA
For Paula Modersohn-Becker, Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, Bremen, DE
2003 125 YEARS, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
Installation for Nantes Courthouse, Palais de Justice de Nantes, Nantes, FR
2002 Installation for Telenor, Telenor Headquaters, Fornebu, NO
Wanås Wall, The Wanås Foundation, Knislinge, SE
Serpentine: Selections from Truisms, Living, Survival, Arno, Nakanoshima Mitsui Building, Osaka, JP
Installation for Agder College, Agder University College, Gimlemoen, NO
Installation for Neue Nationalgalerie, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, DE
2001 Garden Bench, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, IT
1999 BLACKLIST, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
Goerdeler Memorial, Leipzig, DE
'nstallation for the Reichstag, Bundestag, Berlin, DE
Installation for the Sacramento U.S. Courthouse, United States Federal Courthouse, Sacramento, USA
1997 Installation for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Guggenheim Bilbao, ES
Oskar Maria Graf Memorial, Literaturhaus München, Munich, DE
Ceiling Snake, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, DE
1995 Erlauf Peace Monument, outdoor installation, Erlauf, AT
Installation for Schiphol, Schiphol Airport Authority, Amsterdam, NL
1994 Black Garden, Nordhorn, DE
1993 Selections from the Living Series, Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, USA
1991 Installation for the Foster Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Installation for Aachen, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, DE