Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner is among the first people of the 1960s to present art as language. He defines his medium as ‘language + the material referred to’, meaning that language is a material for construction.

His first book Statements (1968) contains 24 descriptions of his works, yet only a few had been made which suggests that a work’s existence is confirmed through the audience ‘s interpretation rather than physical existence. Weiner’s Statement of Intent (1969) more clearly this universal accessibility as a principle:

1. The artist may construct the piece.

2. The piece may be fabricated.

3. The piece need not be built.

As a self-taught as an artist, his urgency to make art available stems from his upbringing in the South Bronx:

“I didn’t have the advantage of a middle-class perspective. Art was something else; art was the notations on the wall, or the messages left by other people. I grew up in a city where I had read the walls; I still read the walls. I love to put work of mine out on the walls and let people read it. Some will remember it and then somebody else comes along and puts something else over it. It becomes archaeology rather than history.” (2013)

His extensive use of texts appear on windows and walls of galleries and public spaces, as spoken word,  posters and printed books, cast or carved objects, , graffiti, tattoos and lyrics.

All information taken from:


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