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Jenny Holzer (American, b.1950)

Sculptures

Birth Place: Gallipolis, OH USA

Biography:

Who is artist Jenny Holzer?

Jenny Holzer is an American sculptor and installation artist whose conceptual pieces often reflect the artist’s feminist philosophy. She was an active member of the New York art coalition, Colab, and is often associated with other contemporary feminist artists like Cindy Sherman and Louise Lawler. Many of Holzer’s pieces are large-scale installations in public spaces including billboards, projections, and even architectural sculptures. More recently, Holzer has made the move back into painting after nearly thirty years exploring more conceptual artistic pursuits.

Holzer has been recognized by the art establishment since the 1980s as one of the US’s premier conceptual artists. She was the second-ever woman chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1989. Her work is on permanent display in many notable public spaces including the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, UC San Diego, and the Guggenheim. She’s produced nine books since 1979 and mounted solo exhibitions at notable museums like the Whitney, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center. She’s been the recipient of the Golden Lion, the Skowhegan Medal, and a Distinguished Women in the Arts Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

What kind of art does Jenny Holzer make?

Jenny Holzer makes conceptual art, sculptures, paintings, and mixed media screen prints. She is perhaps best known for her Living series, made with aluminum and bronze plaques, and her LED-based artwork. These pieces are often large scale and appear in public spaces, a subversion of contemporary advertising. After a short break in the 1990s, Holzer returned with the controversial series Lustmord (1993), which featured poems written on skin, a table made of bones, and various mixed media pieces. Since the turn of the century, Holzer has eschewed writing her own text for her LED pieces, instead choosing to incorporate literary texts from Mahmoud Darwish, Fadhi Al Azzawi, and other international authors and poets. Holzer sees her work as a dialogue about violence, oppression, sexuality, and feminism -- and her pieces often center on jarring juxtapositions of those topics.

How did artist Jenny Holzer get started?

Jenny Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1950. She attended Duke, but then transferred, earning a BFA in painting and printmaking from Ohio University in the 1970s and following that with a MFA from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. She moved to New York in the late 1970s, finding work at the Whitney’s independent study program where she was able to develop her first installation art pieces. It was around this time that she joined the artist collective, Colab. Her first and best-known work was Truisms (1977-1979) which was a public space installation piece. It was extremely well-received and put Holzer on the map.

How much are Jenny Holzer pieces worth?

Jenny Holzer pieces are extremely valuable, especially her LED pieces which can range from about $20,000 to over $500,000, depending on the piece. The most ever paid for one of Jenny Holzer’s pieces was $881,000 for the sculpture Untitled With Selections From Truisims (Abuse of Power) (1987) on May 15th, 2008. It is notable as it is not an LED piece, but a small marble bench with several of Holzer’s texts carved into it. The most ever paid for a Jenny Holzer LED piece is $536,510 for the artwork Red Yellow Looming (In 13 Parts) (2004) which sold on October 4th, 2019.

Where to buy Jenny Holzer pieces for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Jenny Holzer pieces?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.


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