Nancy Holt – Inside Outside
Nancy Holt / Inside Outside is the first major European survey of Nancy Holt’s artistic legacy and features a wide selection of projects made between 1966 and 1992.
“Inside” and “outside” are compelling concepts that run throughout her five decades of artistic output. Holt’s spatial and visual poetry invites us to recognise the hidden systems that form and structure our ways of being and our means of perceiving the world.
Nancy Holt (Worcester, MA, 1938 – New York, 2014) was a key figure on the New York art scene and an innovator of site-specific installations and the moving image. Although she is often linked to the American Land Art and Conceptual Art movements, her work has received far less attention than that of her male peers—an imbalance this exhibition seeks to redress. Rather than being bound by art history categories, she preferred to describe herself as a “perception artist”.
Holt grew up in New Jersey, a state which, alongside New York, features repeatedly in her work. “Looking back, I think growing up in New Jersey was a wonderful experience because it’s a limbo place. . . . [It was] surrounded by the decay of the industrial revolution. And New Jersey had the first highway culture.” In 1956 Holt returned to Massachusetts to study biology at Tufts University, which sparked an interest in the connections between science and art. In her third year, she began making trips to New York, “seeing art, meeting artists”. After moving to the city in 1960, she forged long-standing friendships with artists at the heart of the New York art scene, including Carl Andre (born 1935), Eva Hesse (1936–1970), Joan Jonas (born 1936), Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) and Richard Serra (born 1938), as well as Robert Smithson (1938–1973), whom she married in 1963.
Over the course of five decades she posed questions on how we might understand our place in the world by exploring perception, systems and place. Nancy Holt / Inside Outside presents a major selection of her work that reveals the wide range of her artistic practice, including concrete poetry, sound pieces, photography, film, video, sculpture, installations, land art, architectural interventions, artist’s books and sketches. The exhibition also presents documentation of her ways of working.