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Image of Inflammatory Essay 37984

1994.10.255

Artist

Jenny Holzer

Title

Inflammatory Essay

Creation Date

1979-1982

Century

20th century

Dimensions

10 in. x 10 in. (25.4 cm. x 25.4 cm.)

Object Type

print

Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

offset lithograph on paper

Credit Line

Gift of David P. Becker, Class of 1970

Copyright

This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

1994.10.255
Holzer initially installed these brightly colored posters on Manhattan streets where they would be confronted by unsuspecting pedestrians. Uniform in size, typeface, and word count, the 24 essays in the series (10 of which are shown here) voice provocative positions on a range of topics from the political to the interpersonal. Though each text is written from a different perspective, Holzer is the only author, maintaining variations on aggressive and provocative tone in order to capture the temperature of “hot” topics considered unmentionable or burning questions of the day. She intended “to show how dangerous and absurd it is to be a fanatic, but how important it is to get things done.” Different colors correspond to different ideological voices, which don’t quite cohere into a unified statement.

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