Jenny Holzer receives Whitechapel Gallery’s 2023 Art Icon Award

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Jenny Holzer attends a glamorous gala dinner to celebrate Jenny Holzer as Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2023, on January 19, 2023 in London, England (Photo by David M. Benett//Dave Benett/Getty Images for Whitechapel Gallery)
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

Jenny Holzer was presented with Whitechapel Gallery’s annual Art Icon Award at a gala event on 19 January 2023.

Accompanied by more than 200 artists, collectors, and art world luminaries, Holzer’s contribution to contemporary art was celebrated during an evening hosted by one of Britain’s best-known Classicists, Mary Beard and Whitechapel Gallery Director, Gilane Tawadros. The occasion was marked by a dedicated performance by founding member of Sonic Youth Thurston Moore alongside Pat Thomas.

The gala welcomed artists Gillian WearingMichael Landy and Gary Hume alongside Art Icon committee members Dorota Audemars, Erin Bell, Emilie De Pauw, Marc Payot, and Nicole Saikalis Bay.

Following a drinks reception with Champagne Castelnau Brut Réserve NV Champagne and Castelnau Brut Rosé NV, guests enjoyed a menu of Ceviche of seabass with orange capers and basil, Baharat guinea fowl, with aubergine and saffron pilau, followed by a smoked chestnut Mont blanc with hazelnut meringue and vanilla rum cream. The galleries were adorned with Gloriosa lilies by Sage Flowers, while prints from Holzer’s own work series, Hurt Earth (2021) and Survival (1983-85) were elegantly fixed to the walls.

Gilane Tawadros, Whitechapel Gallery Director said:
“We are delighted that Jenny Holzer will be Whitechapel Gallery’s Art Icon in 2023 in recognition of her ground-breaking practice as an artist who has consistently addressed social justice issues with elegance and humour throughout her decades-long career.”

Cheyenne Westphal, Global Chairwoman, Phillips, said:
“Phillips is extremely proud to support Whitechapel Gallery for the tenth annual Art Icon Gala and delighted to act as auction partner to host the online auction on, the proceeds from which will support Whitechapel Gallery’s pioneering education and community programmes. We are thrilled to play a part in the prestigious Art Icon Award which will celebrate the lifetime achievements of renowned artist Jenny Holzer. Phillips’ long-standing partnership with Whitechapel Gallery is part of our Arts Partnerships programme, committed to supporting contemporary arts and culture worldwide.”

Guests bought tickets for the evening to help raise vital funds for Whitechapel Gallery’s Education and Community programmes. An online auction hosted by Phillips Auction House featured exceptional original artworks generously donated by leading contemporary artists Ari BayuajiTim Breuer, Zoë BuckmanAlfie CaineNick GossAndrew Pierre HartHaroun HaywardJRJenny HolzerHarminder Judge, Sola Olulode, Nengi OmukuLydia PettitGeorge Rouy and Jessie Stevenson, many of whom were in attendance on the night.

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