Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual and installation artist whose work deploys text in public spaces across an array of media, including electronic and LED signs, carved stone, billboards, and printed materials. Closely aligned with the feminist art movement, Holzer’s oeuvre provokes public debate and illuminates social and political injustice. Celebrated for her inimitable use of language and interventions in the public sphere, Holzer creates a powerful tension between the realms of feeling and knowledge, with a practice that encompasses both individual and collective experiences of power and violence, vulnerability and tenderness.Read More
Born in 1950 in Ohio, USA, Holzer studied painting and printmaking (BFA) at Ohio University, and received an MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 1977. Much of Jenny Holzer’s education was in the Liberal Arts at Duke University and the University of Chicago, and she believes this broad education had an impact on the work she made. Although much of her work focused on painting, she was already using text in her pieces at this early stage. Her work is part of the public domain, equally accessible in museums and galleries as in storefronts, on billboards and T-shirts, and even electrified in New York’s Times Square.
Since 1996 Holzer has been using light projection–in which a powerful film projector casts scrolling texts onto architecture or a landscape–as another way of presenting texts in the public realm. The texts and light are dramatic but unobtrusive, adapting to varied projection surfaces, from the mountains and ski jump in Lillehammer to the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris. In recent years, Holzer has returned to painting, making reference to Abstract Expressionism and Suprematism and reinforcing the continued relationship of art with politics.
Text courtesy Hauser & Wirth.