Lawrence Weiner and Kim Gordon on the Ins and Outs of Making Stuff – Interview Magazine
26 September 2020
"Geographically, Lawrence Weiner’s West Village townhouse isn’t that far from the South Bronx neighborhood where he grew up. But in the seven decades between then and now, the wily, wise, bearded, disputatious bohemian maestro has hung out with the Beats and the Abstract Expressionists; experimented in painting, sculpture, film, books, and even dynamite; and created what could be considered his very own genre of art production. That last and most famous achievement involves his energized text works: words, phrases, and sentences rendered in his signature capitalized typefaces. Since the late 1960s, these texts—sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes shouting, some- times a soft parenthetical suggestion, always koan-like in their ability to break from routine logic—have graced the tops of buildings, wrapped around walls, embellished manhole covers, bounced around the cubes of galleries, and filled swimming pools. Weiner’s texts can sometimes feel like modest instructions and other times like a god’s holy orders; they often use natural imagery and just as often seem to be delving into the nature of time, order, and meaning; they have their roots in 20th-century urban sign painting but also in the foundations of etymology; they move, jump, circle, and zing like cartoons, but offer a sense of Zen transformation. Weiner has long been connected to an influential mid-20th-century art movement that celebrated process over product, and ideas over material entities, but call him a conceptual artist at your own risk. At 78, the artist and his language have not gone soft."
Click here to read the full interview with Kim Gordon in Interview Magazine.
Photography: Matthew Tammaro