Lawrence Weiner

What does it mean to be an artist?

Lawrence Weiner (1942-2021) was born and grew up in the South Bronx, New York City.

Did you know?

In the late 50s and early 60s Weiner hitchhiked throughout North America to see the 'world' he was born into and better understand what made him an American. Later, he divided his time between his studio in New York City and his boat in Amsterdam.

Collections

Weiner’s work is held in the collections of many of the world’s iconic museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hamburger Bahnhof; Los Angeles MOCA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunsthaus Zurich; ARC, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; DIA Art Foundation, New York and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

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Collaborations with Lawrence Weiner

Avant Arte and Lawrence Weiner have one upcoming collaboration.

Practice overview

Lawrence Weiner dismantled fundamental assumptions about art. In 1968 he created his first artist book, STATEMENTS. Each page was an artwork. Each artwork was a sculpture. By extension, the book itself was an exhibition. A year later Weiner published his seminal Statement of Intent. 1. The artist may construct the piece. 2. The piece may be fabricated. 3. The piece may not be built. His artworks take many forms. Performances, site-specific sculptures and – critically – lists of instructions that can be repeated by anyone, anywhere at any time.

By the mid 1970s language was Weiner’s primary medium. Versatile and accessible. His capitalised, sans serif words have appeared in an array of locations and formats – from gallery walls to manhole covers, tattoos to water tanks. He had a particular interest in public space, often fly-posting artwork throughout cities where he was exhibiting. Weiner’s poetic-yet-literal texts are both straightforward and complex. Some, observations like WATER MADE IT WET (1998). Others, abstract statements like PUSH AS IF & LEFT AS IS (2012). Ultimately, Weiner understood his work as a collaboration with its viewer. At every turn he made space for limitless interpretation.

“Art asks questions. It doesn’t have answers.”Lawrence Weiner