During Women’s History Month this March, we are joining the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5WomenArtists to share important contributions by women in our collection.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.
This week, we’re featuring the work of Jenny Holzer.
Jenny Holzer is one of America’s foremost Contemporary artists with a broad repertoire across an international stage. As a conceptual artist, text—from the political to the poetic—is central to her repertoire. From large-scale digital images, to simple printed handbills, to carvings in granite and stone, Holzer carefully examines all physical and social aspects of the context of a given work and, regardless of media, meticulously considers the realization of the final form.
For the Garden, 2015, is a site-specific work commissioned by Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Through on site visits, dialogue with architect Hoichi Kurisu and careful research, Holzer decided upon the use of text from across the distinguished traditions of Japanese literature from the 9th century to the 20th. Unifying subjects were poetic expressions around ideas of the garden and mysteries of the natural world. Each was hand carved across the surface of 13 individual boulders to be discovered by the viewer as they explored the garden. “To reward the observant” quickly became Holzer’s shorthand description for the subtle and careful placement of text and the composition across the garden site.
Working directly with authors or their representative and translators, Holzer has created one of the most interesting and engaging works in the permanent collection. A list of poems and the original author / publication that comprises For the Garden can be found HERE.