Jenny Holzer: Thing Indescribable will run at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from 22nd March to 9th September 2019. This is the most significant and largest exhibition dedicated to the American artist to date.
Her work is currently on view at Tate in London where she was given carte blanche to present works in the Artist’s Rooms. In Bilbao, Holzer’s pieces will be juxtaposed with a selection of works on paper and sculptures by artists who have been influential to her, including Paul Klee, Paul Thek, Kiki Smith, and Lee Lozano among others.
Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, a plaque, or an electronic sign, is text. Oil paintings and watercolours of publicly released U.S. documents will trace Holzer’s response to government redaction and distribution of information after the events of 9/11. New robotic assemblies, especially conceived for the show, will animate electronic signs that scroll text, sometimes illuminating human bones.
Starting in the 1970s with a series of posters around New York City, and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, Holzer’s pieces highlight ignorance and violence with humour, kindness, and courage. She said: “I wanted a lot simultaneously: to leave art outside for the public, to be a painter of mysterious yet ordered works, to be explicit but not didactic, to find the right subjects, to transform spaces, to disorient and transfix people, to offer up beauty, to be funny and never lie.”
Curated by Petra Joos in collaboration with the artist, the show will feature site-specific installations that will respond to the dramatic architecture of the museum.