Jenny Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1950. She completed her undergraduate work at Ohio University and took some graduate courses at The Rhode Island School of Design. Her early work was composed of abstract painting. While in graduate school, Holzer experimented with public art. This medium was focused on language and its inscription on various objects in public for people to examine. In the early 1980' s, Holzer's work came into prominence. Her utilization of language on stone benches, painted signs, billboards and electronic signboards seeks public response. Her work questions the relationship of art to its role in society. Her messages are to make "the big issues in culture intelligible as public art."
This stone bench is part of a series of work called "Truisms" which demonstrates through the presentation of one line declarative statements ideas which are often contradictory, shocking, and thought-provoking. Their very juxtaposition is often jarring, making the viewer pause and reflect on the possible meaning. These statements are placed by the artist on various mediums, and in this case, on a bench and call attention to the fact that they are intended not primarily for museums, but for ordinary people who will encounter them in their every day lives.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
The Tate Gallery, London, England
Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, The Netherlands
Stedelijk von Abbe museum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Musee National d' Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Nouveau Musee, Lyons, France
Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Gemeente museum Arnhem, Arnhem, The Netherlands
Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico