Jenny Holzer: Dust Paintings

Jenny Holzer Conclusion, 2014, oil on linen, 102 x 72 x 1 1/2 inches (courtesy o
Jenny Holzer, Conclusion, 2014, oil on linen, 102 x 72 x 1 1/2 inches (courtesy of Cheim & Read)

Viktor Witkowski blogs about Jenny Holzer: Dust Paintings, recently on view at Cheim & Read, New York.

Witkowski writes: "Whenever politics enter painting, one of the questions that arises is how subject matter relates to form. Are there successful painting strategies in which something otherwise unseen can be made visible? Can paintings trigger political awareness? In case of Holzer’s work, classified and therefore unseen documents are rendered visible. By creating paintings of classified documents, the content of these documents is suddenly brought into our perceptual field. There is a difference between knowing of the existence of such records and experiencing a material version of them. In addition, the tactility and careful rendition of certain aspects of these documents (the torn paper pieces, the crossed out words and the highly textured backgrounds) speaks to their acute relevance and presence."