Language is a dominant aspect of Lawrence Weiner’s practice. Conceived as objective representations of states or processes rather than material realities, Weiner’s works are capable of countless manifestations. Although their content is general and abstract, they remain inseparable from their presentation and context. These works could be defined as site-related; they are conceived in relation to the venue and circumstance. Whether the letters are stenciled, painted, or mounted in relief, the choice of typeface, size, placement, and color, varies with the site. The context serves as a vital factor for Weiner’s works. A poster, artist’s book, gallery, or public arena molds the work’s meaning.
Various and versatile, Weiner’s works at Dia:Beacon remain dispersive. Visitors interact with them among the sculpture galleries, in a stairwell, and in the café/bookshop. Suspended high over the admissions desk, the artist’s Statement of Intent (1969) attests to his belief that “art always institutionalizes itself,” regardless of placement. Such an active arrangement emphasizes the work of art is completed only through a viewer’s potential reception and adoption.
Lawrence Weiner was born in New York City in 1942. He lives and works in New York City and Amsterdam.
Lawrence Weiner: Displacement
Catalogue and artist book from the exhibition Displacement at Dia, April 1991–February 1992.