GATESHEAD.- Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
announced a major exhibition of internationally renowned American artist Jenny Holzer opening on Friday 5 March 2010. In 2002 Holzer participated in the B.4.B pre-opening program, projecting her haunting texts onto facades throughout Tyneside. For her new exhibition, the artist will present work spanning the last two decades, filling two floors of Baltics galleries. Including painting and sculpture alongside her spectacular LED installations, the exhibition is Holzers largest and most comprehensive for fifteen years and the first of its scale to be shown in the UK.
Best known for her use of text as art, Holzer combines an investigative use of language with an innovative use of materials and modes of distribution LEDs, billboards, marble benches, T-shirts, condom wrappers, projections and, most recently, paintings - to confront some of the most potent issues of our time: love, pain, peace, longing, conflict and survival. One of the earliest works in the exhibition, Lustmord Table (1994), was triggered by events during the war in the former Yugoslavia . Human bones, some wrapped with silver bands engraved with text, are ordered and presented on large wooden tables, articulating one of the artists most transparent engagements with the physical and psychological aspects of violence and trauma.
Several signature LED pieces will be shown, including Red Yellow Looming (2004), a group of 13 double-sided horizontal signs that pitch forward above the heads of the viewer displaying text taken from US Government documents, and Monument (2008), comprised of 22 semi-circular bands of moving text that tower some 20 feet high, drawn from the artists Truisms (1977-79) and Inflammatory Essays (1979-82). One of the highlights of the exhibition will be For Chicago (2007), a spectacular and expansive floor-based installation commissioned by the MCA Chicago especially for the show and its collection, that functions as a self-contained retrospective of the artists writings from 1977 to 2001. In the words of poet Henri Cole, whose own writings have been used by the artist, through these texts Holzer asks us to respond to a world where good and evil coexist as love and hate do in the soul.
Holzers recent paintings will also be included. The Redaction Paintings are a series first exhibited in 2006 that incorporate declassified and other sensitive texts from US government documents relating to the Middle East conflicts. HAND (2008), is a group of paintings that form a monumental tableau comprised of images of the hand prints of American soldiers accused of crimes in Iraq . The hand prints themselves have been redacted to efface individuating marks. Hanging the hands of the charged next to those wrongly accused, the artist represents the enduring fog of war.
The exhibition was conceived by the artist and Elizabeth A.T. Smith from the Museum of Contemporary Art , Chicago and Philippe Büttner from the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel . It was previously presented at the MCA Chicago, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and at the Fondation Beyeler and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Elizabeth Smith and Joan Simon and an interview with Holzer by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh.
For thirty years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale, the Reichstag, and the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao . 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 rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and moral courage. Holzer received the Leone dOro at the Venice Biennale in 1990. She holds honorary degrees from Smith College , Williams College , the Rhode Island School of Design, and The New School. Holzer lives and works in New York .
BALTIC is a major international centre for contemporary art situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead , England . BALTIC presents a constantly changing, distinctive and ambitious program of exhibitions and events, and is a world leader in the presentation, commissioning and communication of contemporary visual art. BALTIC has welcomed over 3 million visitors, since opening to the public in July 2002.