Jenny Holzer - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Monday, June 27, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private Collection, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    A little knowledge can go a long way
    A lot of professionals are crackpots
    A man can’t know what it is like to be a mother
    A name means a lot just by itself
    A positive attitude makes all the difference in the world
    A relaxed man is not necessarily a better man
    A sense of timing is the mark of genius
    A sincere effort is all you can ask
    A single event can have infinitely many interpretations
    A solid home base builds a sense of self
    A strong sense of duty imprisons you
    Absolute submission can be a form of freedom
    Abstraction is a type of decadence
    Abuse of power comes as no surprise
    Action causes more trouble than thought
    Alienation produces eccentrics or revolutionaries
    All things are delicately interconnected
    Ambition is just as dangerous as complacency
    Ambivalence can ruin your life
    An elite is inevitable
    Anger or hate can be a useful motivating force
    Animalism is perfectly healthy
    Any surplus is immoral
    Anything is a legitimate area of investigation
    Artificial desires are despoiling the earth
    At times inactivity is preferable to mindless functioning
    Automation is deadly
    Awful punishment awaits really bad people
    Bad intentions can yield good results
    Being alone with yourself is increasingly unpopular
    Being happy is more important than anything else
    Being honest is not always the kindest way
    Being judgemental is a sign of life
    Being sure of yourself means you’re a fool
    Boredom makes you do crazy things
    Categorising fear is calming
    Change is valuable when the oppressed become tyrants
    Chasing the new is dangerous to society
    Children are the most cruel of all
    Children are the hope of the future
    Class action is a nice idea with no substance
    Class structure is as artificial as plastic
    Confusing yourself is a way to stay honest
    Crime against property is relatively unimportant
    Decadence can be an end in itself
    Decency is a relative thing
    Dependence can be a meal ticket
    Description is more valuable than metaphor
    Deviants are sacrificed to increase group solidarity
    Disgust is the appropriate response to most situations
    Don’t place too much trust in experts
    Drama often obscures the real issues
    Dreaming whilst awake is a frightening contradiction
    Dying and coming back gives you considerable perspective
    Dying should be as easy as falling off a log
    You are trapped on the earth so you will explode
    What urge will save us now that sex won’t
    Savour kindness because cruelty is always possible later
    The beginning of the war will be secret
    Use what is dominant in a culture to change it quickly

  • 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. 

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Selections from Truisms (1977-1979) and Survival (1983-1985)

Electronic LED sign, diodes and metal ornamentation
14 x 119.1 x 10 cm (5 1/2 x 46 7/8 x 3 7/8 in.)
This work is unique and was created for the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and EMI Records Benefit.

£60,000 - 80,000 Ω

Sold for £75,000

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 28 June 2016