Truisms (1977-79) Siena (2009) © Attilio Maranzano / Ela Bialkowska ACTION CAUSES MORE TROUBLE THAN THOUGHT Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego Exhibition view: Artist Rooms: Jenny Holzer, Tate Modern, London (2019) PROTECT PROTECT (2008) Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Jenny Holzer


Edition of 125
2 Colour Screenprint with hand applied Palladium Leaf on Coventry rag 335gsm. Produced by Counter Studio.
60 x 76 cm (23.6 x 29.9 in)
Signed and numbered by the artist on the reverse
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Jenny Holzer, along with seven other leading international artists, were asked to create a print to celebrate Tate Modern’s 21st anniversary. Two-thirds of the profits from the sale of each 'MORE TROUBLE THAN THOUGHT' print will benefit Tate.

Available individually or as part of a boxset. View individual editions here. View boxset here.

Jenny Holzer’s TATE 21 limited edition print features one of her iconic Truisms – “ACTION CAUSES MORE TROUBLE THAN THOUGHT”.  The print employs a highly decorative, cursive font which has been rendered in hand-applied palladium leaf onto a screen printed silver-grey background. At first, the words remain somewhat elusive, merging into an overall elaborate pattern of flowing curls, but once discerned their meaning becomes clear and the simple message richly communicated.
Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Her medium, whether a T-shirt, plaque, or LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to her work. Starting in the 1970s with her New York City street posters and continuing through her light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humour and kindness. 
The Truisms, originally devised in the late 1970s, consists of nearly 300 aphorisms or slogans that play on commonly held truths and clichés. Initially, the Truisms were infiltrated into the public arena via stickers, T-shirts, and posters. Later, Holzer started using electronic displays. In 1982 she blazed these messages across a giant advertising hoarding in Times Square, New York. The Truisms are deliberately challenging, presenting a spectrum of often-contradictory opinions. Holzer hoped they would sharpen people's awareness of the 'usual baloney they are fed' in daily life.

Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual artist, based in New York. The main focus of her work is the delivery of words and ideas in public spaces and includes large-scale installations, advertising billboards, projections on buildings and other structures, and illuminated electronic displays.

Holzer belongs to the feminist branch of a generation of artists that emerged around 1980, and was an active member of Colab during this time, participating in the famous The Times Square Show.