Wearable “Artist Statements”

Contemporary artists Jenny Holzer, Alec Soth and more collaborate on a T-shirt collection for Minneapolis Institute of Arts' 100th anniversary

Ohio-born contemporary artist Jenny Holzer started out in abstract painting but later moved into conceptual art—using words as her medium of choice. She finds her inspiration from past historical events and current political relations, which encourage her to formulate phrases and create her conceptual works that she believes send a clearer message to the public.

Some of Holzer’s works are in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ collection—and the fine art museum has asked Holzer and four other contemporary artists (Kota Ezawa, Chris Larson, David Rathman, Alec Soth) to help celebrate its 100th anniversary by designing a special collection of T-shirts, dubbed “Artist Statements.” Each T-shirt, from Soth’s cutout of a jumping cheerleader (taken from his 2012 work “Bree, Liberty Cheer All-Stars, Corsicana, Texas”) to Ezawa’s cartoon-like snapshots, is distinctive of each artist’s unique work and style—and completely wearable. But it’s Holzer’s T-shirts, bearing thought-provoking phrases like, “When something terrible happens people wake up” and “All things are delicately interconnected,” that especially stand out and require an attitude to match it.

A limited selection of T-shirts ($25 each) is now available online and the selection will continue to rotate; the full collection is available at the MIA store as well as the Mall of America.

Images courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts