Distanz Verlag | ISBN 9783942405942
Hardback – 76 pages
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In her art, Jenny Holzer (b. Gallipolis, Ohio, 1950; lives and works in New York) looks for ways to translate language into visual objects. She relies on a variety of forms of presentation to do so; most widely known are her illuminated letters and projections. Looking for new material to work with, she came upon texts from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: government documents that had been redacted before being released to the public, including political directives, descriptions of torture methods, autopsy reports, and statements made by American officials, soldiers, and prisoners. Only partly legible because of the widespread blackening, these documents form the basis for Holzer's new pictures--after more than three decades, she returned to the art of painting in 2010. The color, size, and individual expression hark back to the artist, whereas the geometric shapes are the work of the unknown "censors" and the legible fragments of text are taken from the original documents. Holzer's subtle interventions illustrate how much there is that must not be seen. The pictures thus also function as formalist works of art that inevitably call to mind the long history of avant-garde abstraction, especially the legacy of constructivism and its idea that art may serve social purposes.
Artist: Jenny Holzer