Jenny Holzer | STATEMENT – Truisms +


exhibition Details

Jenny Holzer’s text works, called Truisms, were first executed as pithy and sometimes provocative slogans on the streets of New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s as stickers, t-shirts and posters, with the intention of taking art out of the museum and into public life. Holzer quickly converted these statements to the media of advertising and public communication with a series of pivotal LED signs, most famously in New York’s Times Square.

Holzer’s use of electronic technology is, she says, motivated by ‘needing to be where people look’.  Hanging suspended from the ceiling of the Gallery’s South Atrium, in STATEMENT – Truisms +,  2015 iconic statements like ‘ABUSE OF POWER COMES AS NO SURPRISE’ and ‘ENSURE THAT YOUR LIFE STAYS IN FLUX’ cascade and flash in speech-like pulsating rhythms and rainbow spectrums of colour, seemingly with a life of their own. 

STATEMENT – Truisms + was acquired for the Gallery’s collection in 2023, gifted by the Thanksgiving Foundation.

Image credit: Jenny HolzerSTATEMENT – Truisms +, 2015, four-sided vertical LED sign: RGB diodes, stainless steel housing, robotic rotator and hoist, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Thanksgiving Foundation, 2023 © 2015 Jenny Holzer, ARS. Photo: Collin LaFleche.

The artwork’s installation in the Gallery’s South Atrium is supported by Auckland Contemporary Art Trust.

Curated by
Natasha Conland
South Atrium