Lisson Gallery

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:

The Guardian
Lawrence Weiner obituary

MoMA Magazine
Remembering Lawrence Weiner, 1942-2021

The Art Newspaper
Lawrence Weiner, conceptual artist known for large and poetic text interventions, has died, aged 79

Lawrence Weiner (1942-2021)

Lawrence Weiner, Giant of Conceptual Art Who Had a Way with Words, Dies at 79

Artnet News
Lawrence Weiner, a Pioneering Conceptualist Who Used language to Find the Profound in the Prosaic, Has Died at 79

Lawrence Weiner, conceptual artist who used language as material, 1942-2021

Flash Art
Republished from the Archive: A place in the sun. Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner in His Own Words (1942-2021)

Remembering Lawrence Weiner (1942-2021)

Il Giornale Dell’Arte
Lawrence Weiner, the power of words

Lawrence Weiner has said his last word

Concept Artist Lawrence Weiner dies at the age of 79

Death of Lawrence Weiner, father of conceptual art and magician of words

Süddeutsche Zeitung
Obituary of Lawrence Weiner: The sculptor of language

Photo An Rong Xu for The New York Times.

Remembering Lawrence Weiner
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