Artist Jenny Holzer spotlighted in new exhibition

I first encountered Jenny Holzer’s Truisms anonymously plastered in the Lower East Side where we both lived. We were members of the artist collective Colab and for a time lived in the same building. Jenny used words as agitprop. They were declarative, inflammatory, and provocative. She claimed no authorship but questioned the authority of language. They were rants that exemplified the predicament we faced in New York City in the late ’70s.

Since then, her work has expanded in form and voice to include poets, redacted government texts, and layered words of internationally renowned writers who address the great issues of our time. Her 1989 show at the Guggenheim was one of the best I’ve seen, and I’m glad that she’s having another exhibition there this year. Jenny has allowed her art to grow by and new technologies, but her singularity as an artist has always persevered and her work continues to be radical.

Smith is an artist

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