Jenny Holzer – Truism: Turn Soft and Lovely Any Time You Have a Chance


SKU: 24593

Artwork Description

Jenny Holzer – Truism: Turn Soft and Lovely Any Time You Have a Chance

Dimensions: 6 x 8″ framed / 4 x 6″ unframed
Year: 1994
Medium: mixed media on wood

Jenny Holzer’s Truisms are post-card sized original messages printed on wood. Her Truisms reside in many museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“Turn soft and lovely any time you have a chance” can be understood in different ways. The phrase initially points as a reminder to navigate life with grace for yourself and others. Underlying this obvious interpretation lies the whispers of the collective memory of women who have, generation after generation, been inculturated to prioritize being mild and deferential over having strong voices. In this way, Jenny Holzer is creating a call to action: be kind, but also remember that your voice matters.

Holzer is known for mass producing short statements meant to provoke viewers. To ensure as wide an audience as possible, she often prints her word-only images on paper, wood, clothing, or hats, so they are as accessible as possible. Curator Lucy Lippard included Holzer’s Truisms in her Social Strategies by Women Artists exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Holzer’s works are in the world’s major art museums, and she is the recipient of the Leone d’Oro award for her work at the Venice Biennale. She has also been awarded numerous honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts, as well as the Berlin Prize.

-Shastyn Blomquist
Director, Turner Carroll Gallery