In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Nelson Social Justice Fund at the Portland Museum of Art
, the Museum presented a lecture and commissioned work by the internationally known artist Jenny Holzer
on Tuesday, December 7, 2010. Holzer gave a lecture to a crowded hall of 722 people at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland.
After the lecture, a projection that Holzer created especially for the Museum called For Portland lit up the front of the building until 10 p.m. This one-night-only projection, For Portland featured selections from the poetry of Nobel Prize-winner Wisława Szymborska.
For more than 30 years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Reichstag, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, a plaque, or as an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work.
Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and up to her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and moral courage. Holzer received the Leone dOro at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and the Public Art Network Award in 2004.
She was the first woman to represent the United States with a solo exhibition in the Venice Biennale. She received a bachelors degree in fine arts from Ohio University, Athens, and graduated from the master of fine arts program at the Rhode Island School of Design. She holds honorary degrees from Williams College, Ohio University, The New School, and Smith College. Holzer lives and works in New York.