Elizabeth A.T. Smith
For the past three decades, the influential American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer has been challenging viewers’ assumptions about the world through language that conveys the multiplicity of often contradictory voices, opinions and attitudes that form the basis of contemporary society. Alternating between fact and fiction, public and private, the universal and the particular, Holzer’s work offers an incisive social and psychological portrait of our times. During the last decade, Holzer has shown extensively in Europe but has been less visible in the United States–following a period of wide exposure and pervasive influence beginning in the late 1970s. This volume, which accompanies a major presentation of Holzer’s work in various media from the 1990s onward at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, goes a long way towards rectifying this situation, and reintroduces her to the American audience at a timely political moment. Featuring several scholarly essays and an interview with the artist, this volume provides an overview of the work of one of the leading artists of the 80s generation.