Art: A Sampler of Witless Truisms

America's Jenny Holzer showers Received Ideas on the Biennale

Jenny Holzer is the first woman artist to fill the U.S. pavilion at the Venice Biennale. For America to represent itself with a woman at the world's oldest festival of new art was a long-overdue gesture. But alas, the best thing to be said about it is that Holzer is a woman. Considered as art, the installation by this 39-year-old conceptual artist seems lavish but mediocre, especially when divorced from the feverish context of the Biennale's opening.

For a few days in late May, the whole international art set converges on Venice, jams Harry's Bar and the Corte Sconta, and migrates...

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