Jenny Holzer: Word on the Street

Media - 2008.3 - 2008.3_1a.jpg - 67601
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
November 9, 2007
Jenny Holzer's work being moved into the museum.

Jenny Holzer's work being moved into the museum.

When I think of the work of contemporary artist Jenny Holzer I think of words—xenon text projected onto the facades of buildings, such as the recent installations at the New York Public Library, Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in September of this year (text was projected across the Potomac River onto Theodore Roosevelt Island). Last week, on a bright and chilly morning, I stood in the Lincoln Gallery, on the third floor of SAAM, with curators, designers, exhibition gurus, and art handlers. Mostly, I tried not to get in the way.

There was a huge crane outside the museum and a large truck that contained Holzer’s For SAAM, her new conceptual site-specific sculpture. The twenty-eight-foot piece was protected by a long crate. It was pretty impressive to watch the assembled team perform its work.  At about 10:30, the wooden crate was hoisted through a window into the Lincoln Gallery, and within minutes the drills came out and the crate was unpacked. The LED lights that form the core of the work were wrapped in pink bubble. Holzer's texts were in the crate too. Installation took a few days, with Holzer overseeing the process. A week later, For SAAM took its rightful place in the Lincoln Gallery.

Related Post: A Herculean Move (Achelous and Hercules by Thomas Hart Benton comes in through another museum window)

 

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