Exhibitions: Jenny Holzer: Signs and Benches

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    Jenny Holzer: Signs and Benches

    Press Releases ?
    • May 1988: Jenny Holzer: Signs and Benches, a site-specific installation of works by the contemporary American artist Jenny Holzer, is on view in the Grand Lobby of The Brooklyn Museum through July 18. The exhibition comprises five electronic signs and nine granite benches that display text with themes of sex, death, and war. The brightly colored, moving signs signify the changing technology within our environment and contrast sharply with the static benches, which are an unmistakable reference to cemetery stelae.

      Jenny Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio in 1950. The artist was trained as a painter and studied at various schools including Duke University and Rhode Island School of Design before coming to New York in 1976 to join the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

      Holzer’s art reflects a common aspect of American life in her use of signs, posters, and slogans. In 1977 Holzer began using language as both the medium and message of her work by pasting up posters anonymously around New York City. Her text ranges from one-liners to complex elegies and first appeared in window displays as posters and photostats, and later as bronze plaques and commercially painted signs, marking a switch from radical, urgent messages to a neutral, authoratative format. Holzer’s techniques and materials for reproducing her messages have expanded to include such advanced technologies as electronic signs.

      The Grand Lobby installations are made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1988, 054. View Original

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    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
    For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the informative text panels written by the curator or organizer. Called "didactics," these panels are presented to the public during the exhibition's run, and we reproduce them here for your reference and archival interest. Please note that any illustrations on the original didactics have not been retained, and that the text may contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
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