Lisson Gallery

Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner’s texts have appeared in all sorts of places over the last five decades, and although he sees himself as a sculptor rather than a conceptualist, he is among the trailblazers of the 1960s to present art as language. He defines his sculptural medium simply as ‘language + the material referred to’ in the sense that language is a material for construction. Accordingly, his first book Statements (1968) contains 24 typewritten descriptions of works, where only a few had actually been made, suggesting that a work’s existence requires a readership rather than a physical presence. Self-taught as an artist, his urgency to make art broadly available and engaging stems, he says, from his childhood in the South Bronx: “I didn’t have the advantage of a middle-class perspective. Art was something else; art was the notations on the wall, or the messages left by other people. I grew up in a city where I had read the walls; I still read the walls. I love to put work of mine out on the walls and let people read it. Some will remember it and then somebody else comes along and puts something else over it. It becomes archaeology rather than history.” (2013) While Weiner's works exist only as language and can be displayed in any form, he is closely involved in manifestations, detailing the size of the font, the surface texture and placement of the paint or vinyl letters and indeed often inventing new fonts. Texts appear on walls and windows of galleries and public spaces, as spoken word in audio recordings and video, printed books and posters, cast or carved objects, tattoos, graffiti, lyrics, online, ad infinitum

Lawrence Weiner was born in 1942 in New York, NY, USA, where he lives and works today. Solo exhibitions have been held at Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL, USA (2017);  Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, USA (2017); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (2016); Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2016); Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain (2013); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2007); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA (2007); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico (2004); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2000); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA (1994); and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA (1990). He participated in documenta 5, 6, 7, and 13 (1972, 1977, 1982, 2012); the 36th, 41st, 50th and 55th Venice Biennales, Italy (1972, 1984, 2003, 2013); and the 27th Biennale de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2006). Among many honours he was awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1976, 1983), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1994), the Wolfgang Hahn Prize, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (1995), a Skowhegan Medal for Painting/Conceptual Art (1999) and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Graduate Center, City University of New York (2013).

Lawrence Weiner
THIS AS THAT BE THAT AS IT MAY, 2012
language and the materials referred to


Lawrence Weiner
PUSH AS IF & LEFT AS IS, 2012
language and the materials referred to
Dimensions variable

Lawrence Weiner
WHERE IT SEEMS AS IT IS WHERESOEVER HOWSOEVER WHATSOEVER PENDING, 2012

Ink, pencil and pastel on paper

101 x 81 cm 39.8 x 31.9 in


Lawrence Weiner
HOWSOEVER IT SEEMS IT SEEMS SO HOWSOEVER, 2012

Ink, pencil and pastel on paper

 40 x 50.5 cm 15.7 x 19.9 in



Lawrence Weiner
PLACED ON THE TIP OF A WAVE, 2009
language and the materials referred to

Lawrence Weiner
Outdoor commission at the University of California, San Francisco, 2011
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Lawrence Weiner
Outdoor commission of AS TO BE IN PLAIN SIGHT at the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, 2011
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Lawrence Weiner
Installation view of The Other Side Of Cul-De-Sac exhibition and commission at The Power Plant, Toronto, 2009
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Lawrence Weiner
Outdoor project sponsored by Creative Time: The World & Nearer Ones at Governor's Island, NYC, 2009
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Lawrence Weiner
CUL-DE-SAC, 2009

language and materials referred to

image Courtesy of the Moved Pictures Archive

Photo: Rafael Goldchain 


Lawrence Weiner
LEAD ON GLASS, 2005
Language & the materials referred to
Variable

Lawrence Weiner
OFFSIDES, 2007

Language and the materials referred to
Variable

Lawrence Weiner
FOUND ALONE AFTER ANY GIVEN TIME , 2001

Lawrence Weiner
Lawrence Weiner about to leave port in Reykjavik to jettison his planks A PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ASAP as his participation in Reykjavik Arts Festival, Iceland, 2005
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Lawrence Weiner
WITHIN A REALM OF RELATIVE FORM, 2005
Language and the materials referred to
Variable

Lawrence Weiner
WITHIN A REALM OF RELATIVE FORM, 2005
Language and the materials referred to
Variable

Lawrence Weiner
WITHIN A REALM OF RELATIVE FORM, 2005
Language and the materials referred to
Variable

Lawrence Weiner
WITHIN A REALM OF RELATIVE FORM, 2005
Language and the materials referred to
Variable

Lawrence Weiner
WITHIN A REALM OF RELATIVE FORM, 2005
Language and the materials referred to
Variable

Lawrence Weiner
TURNED AS THE WORLD TURNS, 2001
Language and the materials referred to
Dimensions varibale

Lawrence Weiner
SWATHED IN SHINING METAL TO CONCEAL CORROSION & APPEAR TO ELUDE ENTROPY ON THE WHOLE, 2012
language and the materials referred to
Dimensions variable



Lawrence Weiner
A DETERMINATION OF WHERE WHAT FALLS OFFSIDE RESTS , 2007
language and the materials referred to

Lawrence Weiner
Water Made It Wet, 1998
Kunstfestivalen I Lofoten, Norway

Lawrence Weiner
Polaris, 1990

Ink on paper

49 x 63.7 cm 19.3 x 25.1 in

Exhibitions

  1. Lawrence Weiner: BE THAT AS IT MAY

    28 November 2012 – 12 January 2013

  2. Lawrence Weiner: Offsides

    6 February – 15 March 2008

  3. Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Relativ...

    19 October – 23 November 2005

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