Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942) was an American conceptual artist. He was born in New York, where he lived and worked most of his life, while also housing a studio in Amsterdam. Weiner was one of the central figures in the formation of conceptual art in the 1960s. His work often took the form of typographic texts, a form of word art. Lawrence Weiner’s texts have appeared in all sorts of places over the last five decades, and although he saw himself as a sculptor rather than a conceptualist, he was among the trailblazers of the 1960s to present art as language. He defined his sculptural medium simply as ‘language + the material referred to’ in the sense that language is a material for construction. Accordingly, his first book 'Statements' (1968) contains 24 typewritten descriptions of works, where only a few had actually been made, suggesting that a work’s existence requires a readership rather than a physical presence. While Weiner’s works exist only as language and can be displayed in any form, he was closely involved in manifestations, detailing the size of the font, the surface texture and placement of the paint or vinyl letters and indeed often inventing new fonts. Texts appear on walls and windows of galleries and public spaces, as spoken word in audio recordings and video, printed books and posters, cast or carved objects, tattoos, graffiti, lyrics, online, ad infinitum.