solo show: jenny holzer

I got introduced to the art of Jenny Holzer in University. Kinda perfect really. It was the nineties. It was all Doc Martins and Ani DiFranco, and I was in a progressive space where I could explore all my youthful anger about the destruction of the environment, the injustice to minority cultures, and the still inequality of women. My mind was already being blown by the introduction of new ideas. And then a professor gave a lecture that included the art of Jenny Holzer. 


 {One of Jenny Holzer’s “Truisms” printed on a shirt and worn by Lady Pink, a female graffiti artists active in NYC in the 80’s.}

Jenny Holzer uses subversive text to connect with viewers – often in the public realm or in publicly recognizable mediums. Even though she did exhibit inside gallery spaces, her work was intended to directly communicate with everyday citizens out in the public arena. For this girl, I loved that Holzer was not just expressing her ideas but was doing it in such a LARGE way with huge light projections or on marquees or with illegal wheat paste postering.

JennyHolzer-NewYork-ThereisaWorld  JennyHolzer-Oslo-HeSitsFused  JennyHolzer-Tongeren-IWalkIn  5594.tif JennyHolzer-Washington-ThisIsNoFantasy


Jenny Holzer was a trailblazer. I am amazed thinking about the time period (the nineties) in which Holzer was creating some of these technical light and projection works. It was all done in advance – or atleast alongside – the computer boom.

Holzer began making art in the early seventies at the end of the Abstract Expressionism art era. Instead of falling in line with large colour and gesture of Abstract Expressionism, Holzer developed a body of work which honed in with specificity. Her words were carefully chosen. Her medium was precise. Looking at her textual work now, nearly 25 years after I first discovered them, her messages are still relevant. As for me? While I may not still be a Doc Martins gal, I still love me some Ani DiFranco (so I guess some things are trailblazers for a reason.

JennyHolzer - Men (with Nirvana)

{Jenny Holzer’s Men Don’t Protect You Anymore with members of Nirvana}


Jenny Holzer lives and works in New York.


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