Jenny Holzer

b. 1950

"(FBI) Blue," 2006, triptych

Oil on linen
The first and second element: Signed with the artist's initials, inscribed and respectively numbered: JH1107.u ele [1-2]/3 on the overlap; The third element: Signed with the artist's signature, initials, inscribed, numbered and dated on the overlap: JH1107.u ele 3/3 / Jenny Holzer
Each: 33" H x 25.5" W x 1.5" D

  • Provenance: Cheim & Read, New York, NY
    Yvon Lambert, Paris, France
    Sold: Phillips, New York, NY, May 15, 2019, "20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale," Lot 00362
  • Exhibited: New York, Cheim & Read, Jenny Holzer: Archive, May 12 - June 17, 2006, p. 107 (illustrated, pp. 46-48);
    Paris, Yvon Lambert, Nothing Follows, March 10 - April 14, 2007
  • Notes: "(FBI) Blue," 2006, is a strong example of Jenny Holzer's goal of creating works that enlighten—illuminating something thought in silence and meant to remain hidden. This painting depicts an official document from Steven C. McCraw, the Texas Homeland Security Director in the Office of the Governor (of Texas). Next to his name are "(INSD)(FBI)" which are acronyms for "Immigration and Naturalization Service Department" and "Federal Bureau of Investigations." Under his name it shows, "Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 12:13PM." Then, everything under the date has unmodified censor's marks covering most of the document, leaving only government acronyms. At the bottom of each triptych, the word "DETAINEES" is listed and near the end it reads, "Subject: GTMO," the acronym for "Guantanamo Bay." Holzer concentrates on documents that have been partially or almost completely redacted with censor's marks. "(FBI) Blue" is one of her many paintings in a series of work representing autopsy and interrogation reports, exchanges concerning torture, as well as other topics found in official government correspondence.

    Jenny Holzer has been known as a neo-conceptual artist since the 1970s, with the main focus of her work being the delivery of words and ideas in public spaces. A political activist as well as an artist, Holzer's aim is to disrupt the passive reception of information from damaging sources. Often highlighting messages of violence, oppression, sexuality, feminism, power, war, and death, Holzer favors utilizing the rhetoric of modern information systems to address the politics of discourse. A pioneer in using public art as social intervention, she was one of the first artists to use information technology as a platform for political protest. Her success has encouraged a generation of artists to build platforms, both in cyberspace and real space, for sharing political views. Holzer's work has been featured in cities around the world, including London, New York, Los Angeles, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Berlin.
  • Condition: Visual of each: Good condition. The third element with very fine craquelure in the background throughout the lower portion.

    Blacklight of ech: No evidence of restoration.

    Each: Unframed

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November 1, 2022 12:00 PM PDT
Monrovia, CA, US

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