“THE PEOPLE appeared on the National Mall sixty years after the March on Washington, one of the most resonant moments for our democracy,” said Megan Beyer, Director of Art in Embassies. “Jenny Holzer’s inspiring projection celebrating democracy and its values underscores what we have seen—that artists are the best ambassadors for freedom because they survive on freedom.”
For more than 40 years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, joys, 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 New York City street posters and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and courage. Holzer received the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Biennale in 1990, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award in 1996, and the State Department’s Medal of Arts in 2017. She holds honorary degrees from Williams College, the Rhode Island School of Design, the New School, and Smith College. She lives and works in New York.