Go See – New York: Jenny Holzer “Retro” at Skarstedt Gallery, through December 18, 2010

December 9th, 2010

Installation Shot, Jenny Holzer “Retro” at Skarstedt Gallery. All images courtesy Skarstedt Gallery and Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Currently on view at Skarstedt Gallery, through December 18th, is Retro, an exhibition of truisms by Jenny Holzer. The exhibition, which is comprised of benches, plaques, painted signs, electronic LED signs and a sarcophagus, covers a decade of Holzer’s oeuvre from the late 1970’s to the late 1980’s. It aims to reintroduce the diverse use of media comprising Holzer’s historically iconographic works, as well as explore the use of text and language throughout the artist’s early career.

Installation shot, Jenny Holzer’s “Retro” at Skarstedt Gallery.

More text and images after the jump…

Jenny Holzer, Survival, 1989. Electronic LED sign: red diodes.

Jenny Holzer, Survival, 1985. Electronic LED sign: green diodes.

Installation view, Living Series from Jenny Holzer’s “Retro” at Skarstedt Gallery.

One of the installation vignettes in the exhibition is a moment when two series of black and white benches, Under a Rock and Living, coexist. The calm material of the benches belies their incendiary text. Another installation is composed of a set of five red granite benches from Holzer’s Survival series (1983-85). Installed in a circular formation, the benches reflect their original installation conceived for the rotunda of the Guggenheim in 1989. Etched with text from the Survival series, the benches declare slogans such as “THE BEGINNING OF WAR WILL BE SECRET.”

Jenny Holzer, Survival: The beginning of the war…, 1989. Indian red granite.

Installation shot, Survival Series, Jenny Holzer “Retro” at Skarstedt Galley.

Jenny Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1950. She received a BFA from Ohio University in Athens as well as an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island. Thereafter, Holzer attended the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Major exhibitions include the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, (2001), Dia Foundation, New York, (1989) and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York (1989). She was the first woman to represent the United States with a solo exhibition in the Venice Biennale (1990) where she was awarded the Leone d’Oro. Jenny Holzer lives and works in Hoosick, New York.

Skarstedt Gallery is located on 20 E. 79th St. in New York.

Jenny Holzer, Living Series: The smallest thing can make, 1981. Cast bronze.

L: Jenny Holzer, Laments: The new disease came…, 1989. Nubian black granite. R: Jenny Holzer, Laments: No record of joy, 1989. Carbon on tracing paper.

Jenny Holzer, Truisms: All things are delicately connected…, 1987. Danby royal marble.

Jenny Holzer, Living Series: It takes a while before you can…, 1981.

– J. Lindblad

Related Links:

Exhibition Site [Skarstedt Gallery]
Nightmares in Neon [The Guardian]
At Home with Jenny Holzer [NY Times]
Inconvenient Truths: Jenny Holzer Takes on South Africa [NY Times]