Jenny Holzer (b. 1950)

For more than 35 years, Jenny Holzer (b. 1950, Gallipolis, Ohio, USA) has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Reichstag, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, as a plaque, or as an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and up to her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivalled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and moral courage.

In 1972, Holzer graduated with a BFA from Ohio University, Athens. She completed her MFA in 1977 through the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1977, she moved to New York to participate in the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, where she began her first series of public art texts. Holzer received the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum in 1996. She holds honorary doctoral degrees from Ohio University, Williams College, the Rhode Island School of Design, The New School, and Smith College. She received the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2011. Holzer lives and works in New York.

Recent solo exhibitions include Jenny Holzer: War Paintings (2015), Museo Correr, Venice, Italy; and Softer Targets (2015), Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK. Holzer also exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), All the World’s Futures.

Selected collections include Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain; Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; and Tate Collection, London, UK.