Jenny Holzer on the Difficulties of Being a Successful Female Artist


I would describe [my career] as a slow incline with various dips rather than a steep trajectory, but I was relatively young when I did a show at DIA, then the Guggenheim, and represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. During that time, I also had a baby. Those three shows all took place within a few years, and that was an insane time. I worked on DIA when I was pregnant, had a young child for the Guggenheim, and my daughter celebrated her second birthday at the Venice Biennale. I don’t recommend that. I see why guys don’t do it. Although it was a great period for learning-realising, art is hard (and it should be). The rest of my life was desperately difficult at moments.

It’s tough on relationships when you’re obsessed by art, and to be honest, I think it’s harder for women than for…

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