Taking dynamite to a national park might get you arrested. But for Lawrence Weiner in 1959, it was the beginning of an explosive life in art.
The purpose if you’re doing your work is to fuck up their whole life.
Lawrence believed art should do three things – ask questions, communicate an idea, and be useful. He realised that words could do all of that. So he stopped using dynamite and started using language to create his provocative sculptures.
Lawrence’s words have been seen in galleries across the globe, but he remained resistant to art world elitism. Many of his works are public property, belonging to no one and every one.
Lawrence died in 2021. Although he is remembered as a pioneer of conceptual art, Lawrence only ever thought of himself as a sculptor – a sculptor with something to say.
The idea of making art is making it accessible to people. They don’t need to know anything about you.