September 5, 2018
Williamstown, Massachusetts—Art lovers are invited to a session of “Looking and Lunching” at the Clark Art Institute on Thursday, September 20 at 12 pm. Jake Gagne, curatorial intern and second-year MA candidate, leads “Truisms,” a half-hour discussion focusing on an outdoor installation of carved stone benches by American neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer. The discussion continues over lunch with the presenter.
The five works installed on the Clark’s Fernández Terrace present selections from two different series of Holzer’s writings: Truisms (1978–1983) and Living (1980–1982). Gagne’s discussion focuses on the marble bench closest to the Museum Building, which is inscribed on five sides with selections from Truisms. Composed of hundreds of one-line maxims arranged alphabetically, Truisms is a conflicting database of assertions that are concurrently morose, inspiring, incendiary, comforting, conservative, radical, and above all, provocative.
Observing the works is a full-body affair. The Truisms bench is impossible to read without crouching or squatting, and all five works force viewers to crane their necks over the top slab.
“Looking and Lunching” is free with gallery admission, but availability is limited. Plan to arrive early to pre-order and purchase your meal or bring your own lunch. Meet at the admissions desk in the Clark Center.

Jenny Holzer (b. 1950) holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and in 1990 was the first woman artist chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale. Her widely acclaimed work has been exhibited at institutions around the world, including the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art, the Neuenationalgalerie in Berlin, the Dia Art Foundation, the Museu de Arte Moderna in São Paulo, the Guggenheim, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center.

The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 275,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; EBT Card to Culture; Bank of America Museums on Us; and Blue Star Museums. For more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
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