Jenny Holzer (b. Gallipolis, Ohio, 1950) was 25 years old when she began compiling her “Truisms,” more than 250 cryptic maxims, terse commands and shrewd observations. Culled from world literature and philosophy, some of the one-liners are judgmental (“Any surplus is immoral”), others bleak (“Ideals are replaced by conventional goals at a certain age”), and a few echo the half-baked platitudes found in fortune cookies (“You must have one grand passion”). The most resonant are the political ones, none more so than “Abuse of power comes as no surprise.” After printing them as posters, which she pasted among real advertisements throughout downtown Manhattan, Holzer reproduced them on objects, including baseball caps, T-shirts and condoms. She projected them on the enormous Spectacolor LED board in Times Square in 1982, with smaller scrolling signs to evoke the digital clocks and screens through which we are continuously fed information (and told what to think) in urban environments. Holzer continues to use the “Truisms” today, incorporating them into electronic signs, benches, footstools and T-shirts.