Jenny Holzer

US artist Jenny Holzer’s text works are so prolific she even has a regular Twitter feed, posting in uppercase (as with her other text works). The exhibition of her works at Fondation Beyeler shows pieces from various phases of her career, and she has been closely involved in its presentation. The show was first displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, last year, and its basic structure remains the same, but some works have been added here, including early paintings and painted signs. The show includes text works from the late 1970s onwards and objects from the early 1980s to the present. The majority of works are LED installations, shown alongside new paintings and sculptural works that are not well known in Europe. “Another topic of the exhibition is the presentation of these works in the exceptional museum space created by Renzo Piano,” said curator Philippe Büttner. “Great art will meet great architecture.”

The exhibition will extend beyond the gallery, said Büttner: “Together with the artist we are planning a number of projections onto different buildings and sites in Basel and Zurich.” Among these is a projection onto the historic Basel City Hall.

Holzer is also curating her own room within the Fondation Beyeler. “We have invited the artist to select works from our collection to be shown in two rooms just beside the first room of her exhibition,” said Büttner, adding that a work of hers may be displayed within the collection. “This special presentation will establish a link between the Beyeler collection and the Holzer exhibition. The artist has a very rich knowledge of the history of art and it is an important opportunity and challenge for her to get into a dialogue with works by former great artists of our time,” he said.

This article was published in The Art Newspaper, November 2009, p80. To see it in context, click on the PDF link below.

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