Skip to main content

Jenny Holzer:
1977-2013

March 21, 2015 – April 25, 2015

Barbara Krakow Gallery is proud to present Jenny Holzer: 1977 – 2013, a survey of works utilizing texts the artist wrote, compiled and presented in different forms over the past thirty-five years.

The earliest work in the show is the iconic Truisms (1977-79), presented here as eight sheets of black text on white paper.  The Truisms series was written by Holzer to resemble existing truisms, maxims, and clichés.  Each Truism distills difficult and contentious ideas into a seemingly straightforward fact.  Privileging no single viewpoint, the Truisms examine the social construction of beliefs, mores, and truths.  When they are displayed in serial format, as they are in this exhibition, Holzer organizes the aphoristic statements in alphabetic order.  The Truisms first were shown on anonymous street posters that were wheat pasted throughout downtown Manhattan, and subsequently have appeared on T-shirts, hats, electronic signs, stone floors, projections and benches (the last two of these forms are also included in this exhibition).

To the left of the Truisms suite hang a group of 20 sheets from Inflammatory Essays (1979-1982).  Influenced by Holzer’s readings of political, art, religious, utopian, and other manifestos, the Inflammatory Essays are a collection of 100-word texts that were printed on colored paper and, originally, posted throughout New York City.  Like any manifesto, the voice in each essay urges and espouses a strong and particular ideology.  By masking the author of the essays, Holzer allows the viewer to assess ideologies divorced from the personalities that propel them.  With this series, Holzer invites the reader to consider the urgent necessity of social change, the possibility for manipulation of the public, and the conditions that attend revolution.

In addition to these two early bodies of work, there are numerous other works, including several photographs of recent projections, one etching, a 49-minute looped projection and two LED pieces, one of a small scale and one of a large (76”) scale, each of which utilizes one or more texts from throughout Holzer’s career.  Not only a survey of the texts used, this exhibition serves as a display of the varying and dynamic readings of the texts when presented through the different media that Holzer uses.

Works In Exhibition

20 Inflammatory Essays

Jenny Holzer 20 Inflammatory Essays 1979-82 Set of 20 offset posters on colored paper

Signed on one sheet, on reverse
Image/paper size:  17 x 17 inches  (43.2 x 43.2 cm)
(Inventory #26145)

8 Truisms

Jenny Holzer 8 Truisms 1977-79 Set of eight offset posters on paper

Image/paper size:  34 3/4 x 22 7/8 inches  (88.3 x 58.1 cm)
Signed lower right on last sheet
(Inventory #30422)

TRUISMS (selections from 1977-79)

Jenny Holzer TRUISMS (selections from 1977-79) 2013 Portable digital projection, 49-minute digital animation loop including 232 Truisms, in two rotations with 31 unique animations on an HD mini-projector encased in a custom black box specified by the artist

Custom black box size:  8 x 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches  (20.3 x 14 x 9.5 cm)
Edition of 12
Numbered and signed stamped on the bottom
(Inventory #27399)

 

Jenny Holzer: 1977 – 2013

Barbara Krakow Gallery
Exhibited: March 2015 – April 2015

Read more about this work and exhibition here

Selection from ‘Living 1980 – 1982

Jenny Holzer Selection from ‘Living 1980 – 1982 1999 Heliogravure on Zerkall rag paper

Edition of 99
Signed lower right, numbered lower left
Image size:  14 7/16 x 21 3/8 inches  (36.7 x 54.3 cm)
Plate size:  14 5/8 x 22 5/8 inches  (37.1 x 57.5 cm)
Paper size:  17 5/8 x 24 1/4 inches  (44.8 x 61.6 cm)
(Inventory #24504)

Truism Footstool (Starvation is nature’s way…)

Jenny Holzer Truism Footstool (Starvation is nature’s way…) 1988 Granite

Edition of 40
16 x 23 x 15 3/4 inches  (40.6 x 58.4 x 40 cm)
(Inventory #21091)

TEXT READS ON TOP:
AN ELITE IS INVEVITABLE
ANY SURPLUS IS IMMORAL
HUMANISM IS OBSOLETE
HUMOR IS A RELEASE
MONEY CREATES TASTE
MURDER HAS IT’S SEXUAL SIDE
SOLITUDE IS ENRICHING
TRUE FREEDOM IS FRIGHTFUL
WAR IS A PURIFICATION RITE

FRONT SIDE TEXT READS:
STARVATION IS NATURE’S WAY

BACK SIDE TEXT READS:
EATING TOO MUCH IS CRIMINAL

Edition for Bregenz

Jenny Holzer Edition for Bregenz 1983-1985; 1996; Cole, 2004 Set of four digital pigment prints

Edition of 40
Signed and numbered on colophon page
Image size:  19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches each  (50.2 x 40 cm each)
Paper size:  21 7/8 x 17 3/4 inches each  (55.6 x 45.1 cm each)
(Inventory #19588)

Text: Selections from Survival (1983-85) and Arno (1996) by Jenny Holzer; US government document: “Iraqi Pipeline Through Jordan”; and “To the Forty-Third President,” from Blackbird and Wolf by Henri Cole.  Copyright © 2007 by Henri Cole.  Used by/reprinted with permission from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC

Available only as a set.

Edition for Bregenz

Jenny Holzer Edition for Bregenz 1983-1985; 1996; Cole, 2004 One from the suite of four digital pigment prints

Detail image

Available only as a set.

 

Edition for Bregenz

Jenny Holzer Edition for Bregenz 1983-1985; 1996; Cole, 2004 One from the suite of four digital pigment prints

Detail image

Available only as a set.

 

Edition for Bregenz

Jenny Holzer Edition for Bregenz 1983-1985; 1996; Cole, 2004 One from the suite of four digital pigment prints

Detail image

Available only as a set.

 

Edition for Bregenz

Jenny Holzer Edition for Bregenz 1983-1985; 1996; Cole, 2004 One from the suite of four digital pigment prints

Detail image

Available only as a set.

 

Arno, Blue

Jenny Holzer Arno, Blue 2005 Vertical LED sign: white diodes, stainless steel housing

76 7/8 x 5 1/4 x 3 inches  (195.3 x 13.3 x 7.6 cm)
Edition of 6
(Inventory #27201)

Click on image to see film

Exhibited January 6, 2018 – February 10, 2018

Read more about this work here

 

 

 

Blue Blue, text: Blue 1998

Jenny Holzer Blue Blue, text: Blue 1998 2003 Electronic LED signs with color diodes and anodized aluminum housing

Vertical dimensions:  16 1/2 x 2 x 1/2 inches (41.9 x 5.1 x 1.3 cm)
Horizontal dimensions: 2 x 16 1/2 x 1/2 inches (5.1 x 41.9 x 1.3 cm)
Edition of 2
(Inventory #17338)

Text: BLUE (1998), More lyrical and obliquely narrated than Holzer’s earlier works, Blue touches on the pervasive fallout of abuse and bad sex. The text examines how individual memory can be situated next to and within unnamed but global catastrophe. By addressing and eliding individual and mass trauma, this text indicates that no disaster is purely local but leaks into the world’s political and psychological groundwater.

can be installed horizontally or vertically-LED switches automatically