Galería Javier López is pleased to present for the first time in Madrid an installation by American artist JENNY HOLZER (1950, Gallipolis, Ohio) next to a piece by DAN FLAVIN (1933 - 1996, New York). In this way, the show becomes a homage to this latter one. The exhibition coincides with the celebration of the contemporary art fait ARCO’04 in Madrid.
Jenny Holzer soon stood out in the North American avant-garde art scene of the 80s. In 1975, whilst studying her master’s degree, the artist developed an interest in the use of language, installations and public art. Her main focus was to relate her art to the urban space. In her search for a more direct way to spread words or ideas she began to use the structures of the mass media to reach the public at large. Her use of mass media outlets range from billboards to placards to signs or electronic advertising banners and television commercials. She finally adopted electronic LED (light emitting diodes) signs, which reproduce her texts in loops and for which she is best known today. Galería Javier López has chosen to present a sample of this work.
In the late 70s, Holzer moved to New York City where she began producing her first ‘Truisms;’ a series of cryptic messages and aphorisms expressing strong social views. Since then, she has continued to work in the series, adding pieces over the years. She gained notoriety for her art in 1982 when Truisms were displayed on the popular Spectacolor board in Times Square in New York City. The signs, placed in between Coca-Cola or Levi’s ads, featured classic texts, such as: “Protect Me From What I Want,” “Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise,” or “Absolute Submission Can Be A Form Of Freedom." Her public spots for MTV in 1989 gained her further acclaim. Today more than ever, the contradictions of modern society, sex, death, power and war continue to be important subjects for the artist. Holzer’s new works respond to the immediacy of the message adopting a more personal stance, a departure from her earlier works of authoritarian and anonymous voice. What started off as a parody of Great Ideas of the Western World to make social awareness has become a desperate, honest and shocking call of our social and human conscience.
Out of her numerous public exhibition we can highlight her 1999 magnificent installation in the North Entrance of the German Parlament in Berlin, which plays phrases from public historical speeches given in the Reichstag since it was built in 1871; her impressive curtain at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, or her most recent installation at the MAK in Vienna, “XX.”