Renowned American artist Jenny Holzer has used language as her primary medium since the 1970s, combining poetic, political, and personal texts to reflect our experiences of power, violence, joy, oppression, idealism, sexism, leadership, nonsense, despair, reform, fun, and corruption. This September, Hauser & Wirth New York will present Holzer’s most recent works, including thought-provoking paintings, curse tablets, and a monumental kinetic display packing presidential tweets in the artist’s long-anticipated solo exhibition for New York City.
Spanning the entire first floor of the gallery’s 22nd Street location, this exhibition spotlights Holzer’s unparalleled ability to harness the power of words.
The exhibition also presents a selection of new large-scale paintings on linen, marking the latest phase in Holzer’s painting practice, which analyzes and visualizes the ongoing and interconnected tumults in American politics from the era of George W. Bush to the present. The surfaces of these works are are built over tracings of enlarged pages of heavily redacted government documents, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election and FBI records pertaining to the Patriot Act. Holzer meticulously covered the redactions and blank space with colorful blocks of oil paint before adding layers of luminous gold, platinum and other metal leaf. The paintings’ seductive beauty belies the difficult content beneath their surfaces, reminding viewers that the world around us contains truths and secrets that are suppressed yet eminently present.
About the artist ~ Jenny Holzer (b.1950) 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.
Her education includes Duke University (1968-70); U of Chicago (1970-71); BFA, Ohio University (1972); Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC (1976-77); and an MFA, Rhode Island School of Design (1977). She lives and works in New York.
Works by Jenny Holzer will be on view from September 8 through October 29, 2022 at Hauser & Wirth, 542 West 22nd Street, NYC.
In addition, Jenny Holzer will light up Rockefeller Center in a tribute to PEN America’s 100 years defending free expression from September 14 – 18 from 8-10pm.