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Jenny Holzer Art

American, b. 1950

Known for taking art out of the traditional “white cube” of galleries and museums and onto the streets, Jenny Holzer is one of the most potent feminist Neo-Conceptual artists of the 20th century. Her most iconic work critiques the information age and consumerism by reclaiming its primary media — conventional print billboards, storefront posters and LED signs.

“I used language because I wanted to offer content that people — not necessarily art people — could understand,” the Ohio-born Holzer told Interview magazine. She received her MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design, where her work was influenced by Abstract Expressionism. It was while in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art that Holzer became inspired to work at the intersection of public art and language.

In the late 1970s, after becoming an active participant in the downtown Manhattan artist collective Colab, which included Tom Otterness and Christy Rupp, Holzer began to create her legendary “Truisms” series. Printing anonymous one-line aphorisms in bold and italicized text on broadsheets, she pasted them up in public spaces all over New York City. The “Truisms” are provocative in questioning how we receive and process information. The work elicits debate and represents a range of perspectives. In an era that saw the rise of street art and graffiti, Holzer’s pithy word art would also find viewers by way of T-shirts, stickers and park benches, into which her slogans were carved.

Holzer’s more combative “Inflammatory Essays” (1979–82) took the form of mass-produced posters on colored paper — each featuring paragraphs as compared to the punch-line structure of “Truisms.” These touched on subjects such as violence, misogyny, power structures and consumerism, all of which have continued to be central in her work.

Starting in 1982 as part of a Public Art Fund project, Holzer projected “Protect me from what I want” and other “Truisms” on the Spectacolor board, a large computerized light signboard in New York City’s Times Square. Her “Abuse of power comes as no surprise,” which has appeared on T-shirts as part of the series, has taken on new life in an increasingly politically divided America.

Just as it did in the 1970s, the forcefulness of her work continues to make both viewers and the art world stop and pay attention. She has had solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Tate Modern in London and elsewhere. She has also created permanent installations including the New York City AIDS Memorial. A 2014 show at New York’s Cheim & Read featured oil-on-linen canvases based on declassified government files pertaining to detainees from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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Artist: Jenny Holzer
USE WHAT IS DOMINANT IN A CULTURE TO CHANGE IT: Signed glass bowl Whitney Museum
By Jenny Holzer
Located in New York, NY
Jenny Holzer USE WHAT IS DOMINANT IN A CULTURE TO CHANGE IT, 2003 Hand Blown Glass Bowl 4 × 10 × 10 inches Edition 68/200 Signed and numbered 68/200 on the underside with Holzer's in...
Category

Early 2000s Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Blown Glass, Engraving

Jenny Holzer, Water Board 0000090: 2012, Signed Print, Contemporary Art
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Hamburg, DE
Jenny Holzer (American, b. 1950) Water Board 0000090, 2012 Medium: Template reservage technique, on 350 g/qm wove paper Dimensions: 90.5 × 70 cm (35 3/5 × 27 3/5 in) Edition: From th...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Abstract Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Paper

Jenny Holzer, Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Manchester, GB
Jenny Holzer, Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise Screenprint on cherry wood 10 x 15 cm (3.94 x 5.91 in) Limited edition of an unkown size
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Wood

Jenny Holzer - Truism: Raise Boys and Girls the Same Way
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Manchester, GB
Jenny Holzer - Truism: Raise Boys and Girls the Same Way Screenprint on cherrywood 10 x 15 cm (3.94 x 5.91 in) Limited edition of unkown size
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Wood

Jenny Holzer, Protect Me From What I Want (Gold), 2000
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Manchester, GB
Jenny Holzer, Protect Me From What I Want (Gold), 2000 Screenprint on cherrywood 10 x 15 cm (3.54 x 5.51 in) Limited edition from unknown edition size
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Jenny Holzer, Truism: Expiring for Love is Beautiful but Stupid
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Manchester, GB
Jenny Holzer, Truism: Expiring for Love is Beautiful but Stupid Screenprint on balsa wood 10 x 15 cm Limited edition Unknown edition size
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Jenny Holzer, All Things Are Delicately Connected – Gold (Truism Series)
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Manchester, GB
Jenny Holzer, All Things Are Delicately Connected – Gold (Truism Series) Screenprint on cherry wood 9 x 14 cm Limited edition from an unknown edition size
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Jenny Holzer, Truism: Men Don't Protect You Anymore
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Manchester, GB
Jenny Holzer, Truism: Men Don't Protect You Anymore Screenprint on Cherry wood 10 x 15 cm Limited Edition of an unknown size
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Jenny Holzer, Words Tend To Be Inadequate- Gold (Truism Series)
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Manchester, GB
Jenny Holzer, Words Tend To Be Inadequate- Gold (Truism Series) Screenprint on cherry wood 10 x 15 cm Limited edition of unkown size
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Wood, Screen

Jenny Holzer, Inflammatory Essays 3 - LED Sculpture, Light Art, Text-based Art
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Hamburg, DE
Jenny Holzer (American, b. 1950) Inflammatory Essays 3, 1982/2002 Medium: Electronic tri-color mini-LED panel, with anodized aluminium housing, incl. power adapter Dimensions: 10.1 x...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

LED Light

Jenny Holzer, AKA: Portfolio of 5 Etchings, Contemporary Art, Signed Print
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Hamburg, DE
Jenny Holzer (American, b. 1950) AKA, 2006 Medium: Set of five etchings, on Magnani Pescia paper (with title page, sheets loose, in original black silk-covered portfolio case) Dimens...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Etching

These Enhanced Techniques, Abstract Art, Contemporary Art, 21st Century
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Hamburg, DE
Jenny Holzer (American, b. 1950) These Enhanced Techniques, 2012 Medium: Black pulp on white handmade paper, stenciled Dimensions: 90.5 × 70 cm (35 3/5 × 27 3/5 in) Edition: From the...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Handmade Paper, Stencil, Other Medium

Ceramic Chargers
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer's menacing (and sometimes humorous) "Truisms" first appeared in the late 1970s in a variety of forms, but initially oriented towards a type of street art. Over the pas...
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Ceramic

Truth Before Power
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer (b. 1950) is a multi-disciplinary American artist best known for her text-based public art projects. She was the first woman to represent the United States at the 1990 V...
Category

Early 2000s Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Digital Pigment

End of the USA
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer is one of the most important and original artists of the 20th century. Her body of work, with an emphasis on text, is consistently provocative and occasionally frightening, manipulating the language of both pop culture and government slogan to produce commentary on global issues notably power structures and warfare. Holzer's iconic "Inflammatory Essays", produced between 1979 and 1982, were first pasted on walls throughout heavily populated metro areas including New York and other cities. Composed of anonymous statements, printed on friendly or calm colored papers, the statements were influenced by writings of major political figures such as Emma Goldman...
Category

1980s Conceptual Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Offset

MORE TROUBLE THAN THOUGHT - Contemporary art, 21st Century, Figurative
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Zug, CH
Jenny Holzer MORE TROUBLE THAN THOUGHT - Contemporary art, 21st Century, Figurative 2021 2 Colour Screenprint with hand applied Palladium Leaf on Coventry rag 335gsm. Edition of 125 60 × 76 cm (23.62 × 29.92 in) Signed and numbered In mint condition PLEASE NOTE: Edition numbers could vary from the one shown in the images. Jenny Holzer, along with seven other leading international artists, were asked to create a print to celebrate Tate Modern’s 21st anniversary...
Category

2010s Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Screen

Inflammatory Essay (from Documenta 1982)
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer is one of the most important and original artists of the 20th century. Her body of work, with its emphasis on text, is provocative and occasionally frightening, manipulating the language of folk wisdom, pop culture, and government slogan to produce a commentary on global issues including power structures, gender struggle, economics, voting, and warfare. Holzer's iconic "Inflammatory Essays", produced between 1979 and 1982, were first pasted on walls throughout heavily populated metro areas including New York, and shortly after in other cities. Unsigned and commercially produced, they subverted the conventions of advertising, graffiti, and public art. Each essay was in a different eye-catching color to maximize viewers' attention. It was also helpful when one Essay replaced an older one. The texts were derived from her childhood interest in rapturous writings. Holzer tried to emulate a similar style for her essays, yet borrowed from political theorists (notably Mao, Lenin, and Emma Goldman...
Category

1980s Conceptual Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Offset, Lithograph

Half Dead, "Inflammatory Essay" (from Documenta 1982)
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer is one of the most important and original artists of the 20th century. Her body of work, with its emphasis on text, is provocative and occasionally frightening, manipulating the language of folk wisdom, pop culture, and government slogan to produce a commentary on global issues including power structures, gender struggle, economics, voting, and warfare. Holzer's iconic "Inflammatory Essays", produced between 1979 and 1982, were first pasted on walls throughout heavily populated metro areas including New York, and shortly after in other cities. Unsigned and commercially produced, they subverted the conventions of advertising, graffiti, and public art. Each essay was in a different eye-catching color to maximize viewers' attention. It was also helpful when one Essay replaced an older one. The texts were derived from her childhood interest in rapturous writings. Holzer tried to emulate a similar style for her essays, yet borrowed from political theorists (notably Mao, Lenin, and Emma Goldman...
Category

1980s Conceptual Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Offset, Lithograph

All Things Are Delicately Connected embroidered tea towel
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Contemplate this though provoking statement with this tea towel designed by Jenny Holzer. Each tea towel is embroidered in the UK and made from 100% organic ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Cotton, Organic Material

Words Tend to be Inadequate embroidered tea towel
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Contemplate this though provoking statement with this tea towel designed by Jenny Holzer. Each tea towel is embroidered in the UK and made from 100% organic cotton. Created exclu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Cotton, Organic Material

Inflammatory Essays -- Sculpture, Pewter, Text Art by Jenny Holzer
By Jenny Holzer
Located in London, GB
Inflammatory Essays: Shriek When the Pain Hits During Interrogation, 1996 Jenny Holzer Pewter multiple with engraved text With the artist's incised signature and numbering verso Fr...
Category

1990s Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Metal

Inflammatory Essays -- Sculpture, Pewter, Text Art by Jenny Holzer
By Jenny Holzer
Located in London, GB
Inflammatory Essays: Shriek When the Pain Hits During Interrogation, 1996 Jenny Holzer Pewter multiple with engraved text With the artist's incised signature and numbering verso Fr...
Category

1990s Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Metal

Torture Is Barbaric -- Print, Postcards, Text Art, Truisms by Jenny Holzer
By Jenny Holzer
Located in London, GB
Truisms [Torture Is Barbaric], after 1994 Jenny Holzer Screenprint on balsa wood multiple with text from the Survival (1983-1985) and Truisms (197...
Category

1990s Pop Art Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Screen

Selection from Living 1980 -1982, Heliogravure, Text Art by Jenny Holzer
By Jenny Holzer
Located in London, GB
Selection from Living 1980 -1982, 1999 Jenny Holzer Heliogravure, on Zerkall rag paper Signed and numbered from the edition of 99 Plate: 37 × 55.5 cm (14.6 × 21.9 in) Sheet: 44.5 ×...
Category

1990s Contemporary Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Photogravure

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By Jenny Holzer
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Category

21st Century and Contemporary Abstract Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Handmade Paper, Other Medium

Jenny Holzer, Top Secret 23 (from Water Boarding), Signed Print, Abstract Art
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Hamburg, DE
Jenny Holzer (American, b. 1950) Top Secret 23, 2012 Medium: Black pulp on white handmade paper, stenciled Dimensions: 90.5 × 70 cm (35 3/5 × 27 3/5 in) Edition: From the series “Wat...
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Survival Pencils
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer's menacing "Truisms" first appeared in 1983 when the artist was invited to participate in a group show exploring the themes and dialogue from George Orwell's "1984". Over the past three decades Holzer has created an impressive oeuvre consisting of objects, sculpture and public art. From marble benches to billboards Holzer's text-based pieces have provoked the public to consider the power structures that surround us. Some of her most famous texts include: "Protect Me From What I...
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Top Secret 24 // Contemporary Art // Abstract Art
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Jenny Holzer's provocative (and often amusing) "Truisms” first appeared in the late 1970's as the artist began using language as her medium. Over the past four decades Holzer has cr...
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For Paula Modersohn Becker
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer (b. 1950) is a multi-disciplinary American artist best known for her text-based public art projects. She was the first woman to represent the United States at the 1990 Venice Biennale. Since the late 1970's Jenny Holzer has created an impressive body of work including objects, sculpture, public art, and photographs... often with the slogans and sayings from the debut of her career. Throughout her oeuvre Holzer decisively challenges political and social structures. Whether questioning consumerism, describing torture, or lamenting death and disease, her use of language (sometimes mistaken for advertising when installed in public spaces) is designed to disrupt and disturb. One of the most important German artists of the 20th century, Modersohn-Becker is an inspiration to Holzer, and often addressed the motif/theme of "Mother and Child" in her work. In the staircase of the Paula Modersohn...
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In A Dream
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Jenny Holzer has created a body of work consistently meaningful, menacing and provocative, typically using text and relying on modes of communication usually used by advertising or propaganda. Since the late 1970's Holzer has created an impressive oeuvre consisting of objects, sculpture and public art...often revisiting the slogans and sayings she first introduced in the early 1980's. The phrase "In a dream you saw a way to survive and you were full of joy" debuted in Holzer's Survival Series (1983-1985), which warned about the dangers of everyday living. The Survival Series slogans were originally shown on large electronic billboards in public spaces. Since then, Holzer has used this phrase on condom wrappers, marble benches, wooden postcards...
Category

1990s Conceptual Jenny Holzer Art

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In A Dream
In A Dream
H 25.5 in W 21.5 in
End of the USA
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Jenny Holzer is one of the most important and original artists of the 20th century. Her body of work, with an emphasis on text, is consistently provocative and occasionally frightening, manipulating the language of both pop culture and government slogan to produce commentary on global issues notably power structures and warfare. Holzer's iconic "Inflammatory Essays", produced between 1979 and 1982, were first pasted on walls throughout heavily populated metro areas including New York and other cities. Composed of anonymous statements, printed on friendly or calm colored papers, the statements were influenced by writings of major political figures such as Emma Goldman...
Category

1980s Conceptual Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Offset

Truisms (Toronto)
By Jenny Holzer
Located in Toronto, Ontario
In 1982 Jenny Holzer, who was at the beginning of her career, was invited to Toronto by A-Space to do one of her ground-breaking public "interventions". The artist hired a few OCAD ...
Category

1980s Post-Modern Jenny Holzer Art

Materials

Inkjet

Jenny Holzer art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Jenny Holzer art available for sale on 1stDibs. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Michele Zalopany, Rudolph Carl Gorman, and Warren Keating.
Questions About Jenny Holzer Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Jenny Holzer’s medium is visual arts, specifically conceptual art and installations. She draws on social and political commentaries to create her text-rich work. You can shop a selection of Jenny Holzer’s pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    While the takeaway of Jenny Holzer’s art is subjective to each individual, her work focuses mainly on the delivery of words and ideas in public spaces with large-scale installations. Shop a selection of Jenny Holzer artwork and prints on 1stDibs.

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