'I am trying to use language as a means of presenting a mise-en-scene, a physical reality.'1 - Lawrence Weiner
Galerie Marian Goodman is delighted to present FOLDED WAVES VAGUES PLIÉES, an exhibition of works by Lawrence Weiner from the 3rd of November to the 21st of December 2018 at the gallery and at the bookshop. Parallel to the gallery exhibition, from the 7th to the 21st of November, a work will also be seen in the Paris metro for the first time.
Lawrence Weiner has been using language as the primary medium for his works since the late 1960s. Presented in capital letters, his structures consisting of language, or text fragments, often accompanied by graphic marks and lines, are instantly and internationally recognisable as Weiner's.
Each piece refers to Weiner's generic description of their content: LANGUAGE + THE MATERIALS REFERRED TO. The work often describes material components, colours, spatio-temporal delineations and interactions, allowing viewers to develop their own personal interpretation and experiences.
One of the leading figures of the Conceptual art scene in the late 1960s, Weiner was one of the first artists to propose a new relationship to art and to redefine the status of the artist: 'There was this pseudo-mystical concept that the artist was apart from society. Art and artists are as much part of the society as anyone else. If a work of sculpture is capable of presenting itself within a space in a manner as to create a mise-en-scene in relationship with the viewer, this mise-en-scene will create and ambiance (meaning) that is a material reality.'2 In addition to questioning the nature of the artwork, its production and dissemination, Weiner argued that its reception is intrinsically bound up with the sociocultural context in which it is shown. His philosophy is encapsulated in his famous 'statement of intent', published in 1969:
1 - THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE WORK
2 - THE WORK MAY BE FABRICATED
3 - THE WORK NEED NOT BE BUILT
Each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artistThe decision as to condition rests with the receiver upon the occasion of receivership
At the gallery, the artist shows three pieces, each one in the original English version and in a French version:
WAVES FOLDED IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO RENDER THEM DRY
NITER & BRIMSTONE KEPT APART
GOLD SILVER PER SE EMERALDS STEEL DIAMONDS PER SE SALT MOVED CARRIED PER SE PLACED
At Librairie Marian Goodman, Weiner has also placed his work AFTER HERE & THERE both within the space and on its shop window, inscribing it simultaneously in private and public space, on rue du Temple.
AFTER HERE & THERE will also be found simultaneously displayed in the corridors of forty metro stations among the multitude of its advertising posters for two weeks, from 7-21 November.
Lawrence Weiner has been frequently invited to present his text-based works in the public realm, in various international cities. Each linguistic proposition is deliberately accessible, aiming at challenging the viewers' attention. Although Weiner does not consider his works as site-specific, each piece builds a distinct relationship with each urban and cultural environment it is inserted in.
The exhibition will also showcase another facet of Weiner's practice: his artist's books and multiples. Echoing his first exhibition at the Galerie Marian Goodman in Paris back in 1996 (a retrospective of his multiples), a selection of publications and object/editions (such as t-shirts, trays, pens etc.) will be on view and also for sale at the bookshop.
Lawrence Weiner was born in 1942 in the Bronx in New York. His early work in the 1960s incorporated performance, painting and sculpture. In 1968, he published his first artist book, STATEMENTS. A year later, he published his well-known Statement of Intent (see above), which became the cornerstone of his practice ever since. He participated in several seminal exhibitions of Conceptual art such as When Attitudes Become Form at the Kunsthalle Bern in 1969 and at Documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972.
A major retrospective survey, AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE, was shown at the Whitney Museum, New York, US, and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), US and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (K21), Düsseldorf, Germany, in 2007-2009.
Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Perez Art Museum, Miami, US (2017); Milwaukee Art Museum, US (2017); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, US (2017); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (2016); Blenheim Art Foundation, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, UK (2015); South London Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2014); Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Spain (2013); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2013).
In France, Lawrence Weiner has been invited to show his work as early as the middle of the 1980s by the Consortium de Dijon, the Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, the ARC/ Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris as well as the Magasin-Centre d'art contemporain, Grenoble. In 1990 he had a retrospective exhibition at the Nouveau Musée-Institut d'art contemporain in Villeurbanne and solo shows in 1991 and 1992 at Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux (CAPC). More recently, Collection Lambert in Avignon presented a solo exhibition in 2012. One of his works, (PLACÉ) SUR UN POINT FIXE/(PRIS) DEPUIS UN POINT FIXE, has been on view in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris since 2000. In 2017, he received the Aspen Award as well as the Wolf Prize.
1 'A Public Conversation with Willard Holmes' (1990), in Lawrence Weiner, Contemporary Artists (Phaidon), Phaidon Press, 1998.
2 'Entretien entre Ghislain Mollet-Viéville et Lawrence Weiner', in Collection Public Freehold, published by Ghislian Mollet-Viéville, Paris / Ecole supérieure d'art et de design de Reims (2004).
Press release courtesy Galerie Marian Goodman.