jenny holzer takes over new york's guggenheim museum with luminous 'light line'

jenny holzer takes over new york's guggenheim museum with luminous 'light line'

jenny holzer returns to the guggenheim


Thirty-five years after its debut, Jenny Holzer‘s LED sign takes center stage once more at the Guggenheim Museum in New York with Jenny Holzer: Light Line, a reimagined version of the artist’s 1989 installation. The original, then the world’s longest LED display, illuminated the iconic rotunda with its scrolling messages in vibrant color. This new iteration expands on that concept, transforming Frank Lloyd Wright’s museum with an extended display of text.


Holzer’s artistic vision extends beyond the renewed sign, as the exhibition treats the museum itself as an installation. Visitors will encounter her work in unexpected locations, echoing the chance encounters with her art experienced on city streets. Her signature messages explore themes of social justice, war, and women’s rights, and appear on posters, stone benches, and even within a museum restroom. The exhibition open on May 17th during NYCxDesign 2024 (see designboom’s complete event guide here), and will be on view through September 29th, 2024. 

jenny holzer guggenheiminstallation view, ‘For the Guggenheim,’ 2008 | image © Annie Tritt, courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum



‘installation’ spirals up the museum’s rotunda for ‘light line’


The new LED sign, titled Installation for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1989/2024), displays an expanded selection of text from Jenny Holzer’s series. Now, the work stretches across all six ramps of the rotunda, reaching up to the oculus and fulfilling the artist‘s original vision. This reimagining involved a significant research project. Guggenheim conservators closely studied the original hardware and software to ensure an accurate and upgraded version for this setting. This research facilitates the current presentation and contributes valuable data for the future preservation of technology-based art.

jenny holzer guggenheiminstallation view, ‘Installation’ | image © Ariel Ione Williams, courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum



Beyond the LED sign, Jenny Holzer: Light Line encompasses a diverse selection of Holzer’s work, spanning paintings, works on paper, and sculptures. The museum’s High Gallery presents a unique collaboration: Lee Quiñones, a pioneer of street art, has created graffiti art alongside Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays posters. To celebrate the opening, Holzer’s light projection, For the Guggenheim, will illuminate the museum’s facade with messages promoting peace throughout May.


The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive digital guide and dedicated accessibility programs, ensuring a rich and inclusive experience for all visitors. What’s more, an artist’s book titled TRACE features preparatory drawings used by Holzer for her iconic stone benches.

jenny holzer takes over new york's guggenheim museum with luminous 'light line'
installation view, ‘Installation’ | image courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

jenny holzer guggenheim‘Installation’ (detail) | image courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


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installation view, ‘Installation’ | image © Filip Wolak, courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


project info:


exhibition title: Jenny Holzer: Light Line

artist: Jenny Holzer

location: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
address: 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

on view: May 17th — September 29th, 2024

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