Media - 2008.3 - 2008.3_1a.jpg - 67601
Copied Jenny Holzer, For SAAM, 2007, electronic LED array with white diodes, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2008.3, © 2007, Jenny Holzer/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Artwork Details

Not on view
33648 in. (853.4121.9 cm)
© 2007, Jenny Holzer/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums Description
electronic LED array with white diodes
Object Number

Artwork Description

Jenny Holzer designed For SAAM in response to the high ceilings and open, airy space of the Lincoln Gallery. The sculpture features texts from four of the artist's previous series-- Truisms, Living (Selections), survival (Selections), and Arno. The bold statements scroll around the column, projecting messages such as "Abuse of power comes as no surprise" and "Money creates taste" with flashing LED lights. Holzer's "truisms" adopt an authoritative tone on a range of subjects, including feminism, morality, and interpersonal relationships.
New Acquisition Label
Jenny Holzer (b. 1950) is an internationally renowned artist best known for her pioneering work incorporating texts into light-based sculptures and projections. For SAAM (2007) is Holzer's first cylindrical column of light and text created from white electronic LEDs (light emitting diodes). The piece, according to the artist, is "sensitive to the formal integrity of the museum and attuned to the experience of the collection and space."

The sculpture, which is approximately twenty-eight feet tall and four feet in diameter, features texts from four of the artist's series—Truisms, Living (selections), Survival (selections), and Arno—and includes some of her best-known statements. The texts are programmed to swirl and travel around the body of the piece. By varying the height, font, intensity and direction of the scrolling letters, Holzer activates the transparent column and the surrounding space with light that reflects off surfaces in the gallery.

For SAAM is the latest work that is part of Holzer's ongoing exploration of art and architecture. She has created site-specific work for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Reichstag in Berlin, and 7 World Trade Center in New York City, among others.

Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008

Related Posts

A picture with the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Conservator of Media Arts.
Media Conservator Dan Finn addresses the challenges of conserving Jenny’s Holzer’s sculpture For SAAM, a 29-foot column that projects animated phrases onto the cylinder using LED lights.
Miyah Powe
MTO Intern
Media - 2008.3 - 2008.3_1a.jpg - 67601
There was a huge crane outside the museum and a large truck that contained Holzer's For SAAM, her 2007 conceptual site-specific sculpture. The twenty-eight-foot piece was protected by a long crate.
A photograph of Howard Kaplan on a plane.
Howard Kaplan