It’s hard to imagine a better depiction of artist Jenny Holzer than this 1983 lithograph by her soon-to-be husband, Mike Glier, a fellow member in the artists’ group COLAB. Glier’s portrait is one in a series called “Calling Women,” intended to emphasize the assertiveness of its female subjects—a follow-up to his series “Crying Men.”
In addition to Holzer, “Calling Women” included Kiki Smith, Jane Dickson, and other COLAB members. Each image was done from a photograph taken by Glier, who directed his sitters to call out the name of a person, place, or thing they felt strongly about. Some were made into paintings. Glier created the lithograph of Holzer while a visiting artist at the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan.
The “Calling Women” theme is particularly apt for Holzer, who has built a career and body of work around her declamatory word pieces. Glier’s portrait was completed as Holzer was finishing her series “Inflammatory Essays.” Looking at it, one can almost hear a characteristic all-caps aphorism—“TOO MANY CITIZENS THINK THEY ARE HELPLESS,” or “THE GREATEST DANGER IS NOT EXCESSIVE ZEAL BUT UNDUE HESITATION,” or “IT IS YOUR LIFE SO TAKE CONTROL AND FEEL VITAL”—coming out of Holzer’s mouth.
Glier has exhibited widely since the 1980s, starting with early solo exhibitions at Annina Nosei Gallery and Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York and the Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago. His early work brought a distinct political consciousness to the neo-expressionism of the era. He is currently professor of art at Williams College.