Remembering Lawrence Weiner
8 December 2021
Of paramount importance to him, he said, was the interaction between the work and the viewers, who assumed considerable responsibility in taking it in, pondering it and assimilating it into their own experience, or trying to. Such an exchange happens with every work of art, of course. But Mr. Weiner considered his work highly collaborative, a continuing rejoinder against what he called the “aesthetic fascism” of the concepts of the masterpiece and the genius that prevailed for centuries.
If his work was sometimes hard to get a handle on, even willfully abstruse, he said it was because he himself was grappling messily with meaning, which he considered an artist’s fundamental reason for existing.
“I was one of those people who decided that the concept of being an artist was to be perplexed in public,” he told the curator Donna De Salvo in 2007 on the occasion of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum in New York. “That was simply the role of being an artist, because the artist was to be invested in things that did not have a pat answer.”
In a conversation last year with the musician and artist Kim Gordon, trying to pin down the effect he hoped his work achieved, he said:
“The funny thing is, people make art for other people. The vision is to have a concert, and when everybody comes out of the concert, they’re all whistling something. That’s not populist — that’s just giving somebody something they can use. And that’s why the work that I make is about giving the world something it can use.”
Read the full article in The New York Times: Lawrence Weiner, Artist Whose Medium Was Language, Dies at 79
Many media internationally paid their respects to the artist, including the following:
Lawrence Weiner obituary
Remembering Lawrence Weiner, 1942-2021
Lawrence Weiner (1942-2021)
Remembering Lawrence Weiner (1942-2021)
Il Giornale Dell’Arte
Lawrence Weiner, the power of words
Lawrence Weiner has said his last word
Obituary of Lawrence Weiner: The sculptor of language
Photo An Rong Xu for The New York Times.