Jenny Holzer - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Sunday, June 6, 2021 | Phillips

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  •  “I used language because I wanted to offer content that people — not necessarily art people — could understand.” — Jenny Holzer

    With texts spoken from an anonymous “I” to a universal “you,” American neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer’s emblematic Living series presents enigmatic, often inconclusive observations, directions and warnings addressing the undercurrents of everyday socio-political culture. These texts are written in a pragmatic, matter-of-fact tone that suddenly shocks, amuses, or unnerves. Holzer paints red or black texts onto her enamel signs and casts metal plaques in bronze or aluminium “to have the look of a voice of authority, of the establishment”, disseminating these ironic, sometimes disturbing statements in the guise of institutionalised signs found on buildings or in journalistic reports. 



    Jenny Holzer
    Installation view of Living, at Cheim & Read, New York
    14 February –8 April 1997


    • Provenance

      Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
      Galerie Skarstedt, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Los Angeles, Sprüth Magers, Eau de Cologne, 28 June - 20 August 2016 (another example exhibited)

    • Artist Biography

      Jenny Holzer

      American • 1950

      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. 

      View More Works


Someone wants to cut a hole in you... Text: Living (1980-82)

hand-painted enamel on metal
53.3 x 58.4 cm. (21 x 23 in.)
Executed in 1981, this work is number 4 from an edition of 5.

Full Cataloguing

HK$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for HK$252,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 7 June 2021