Lot 503
Post-War & Contemporary Art | 14 April 2022
Jenny Holzer (1950)

Inflammatory Essays, 1979-1982

twelve offset lithographs in black, on various coloured papers, each print 25,5x25,5 cm, in orig. ziplock bag with orig. $25 price tag

American artist Jenny Holzer started creating her ‘Truisms’ when she was a student in New York in 1977. She typed the sentences in capital letters in a cursive but clear font, and then had them printed inexpensively on posters. These works contained rows of various statements, often ironic, sometimes aggressive, but mostly comical. With her Truisms, based on common sayings and clichés, and expressing many different points of view, she explores the idea of gathering and presenting information as art. Holzer hoped her Truisms would provoke people to recognise and question what she calls ‘the usual baloney they are fed in daily life’. At first Holzer started wheat-pasting her printed sheets in lower Manhattan, New York. They appeared as unsigned posters in public spaces, on walls or in telephone booths. Later they could be found on consumer goods like stickers, baseball caps, T-shirts, condoms and bracelets. Eventually they would appear on electronic light signs, culminating in the 1982 giant electronic display in New York Times Square. The Truisms were her first public project intended ‘in a perhaps bold, 20-something way as a survey of belief. I tried to write them from as many points of view possible, some tender and some homicidal.’ (Interview with Gabrielle Schwarz) In contrast with artists like Louise Lawler, Barbara Kruger or Richard Prince, who combine text with imagery, Jenny Holzer considers the text to be the image in itself. To reach an even bigger crowd, Holzer has continued to use modern techniques and multimedia in various ways. In the Netherlands, for instance, her Truisms are to be found as a vertical LED light display at Schiphol Airport and at the scoreboard of the Galgenwaard soccer stadium in Utrecht.

€ 800,00
€ 1.200,00

Startbod: € 800