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Jenny Holzer

American  •  b. 1950

Biography

Jenny Holzer is a Conceptual artist best known for her text-based public art projects. Holzer's work speaks of violence, oppression, sexuality, feminism, power, war and death. Throughout the years, Holzer has employed a variety of media, from a T-shirt to a plaque to an LED sign. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, she uses her art as a form of communication and commentary. Holzer's art hangs in important collections around the globe including 7 World Trade Center, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao and the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

Insights

  • Holzer's initial public works from the late 1970s, known as "Truisms," are still among her most famous.

  • Her first large-scale electronic sign was a work that read 'Protect Me From What I Want' on a spectacolor board in New York's Times Square, 1982.

  • In 1990, Holzer became the first female artist chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in Italy. That same year, Holzer took home the prestigious Golden Lion award.

"I used language because I wanted to offer content that people—not necessarily art people—could understand.”

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