Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner created posters and flags in collaboration with Station to Station.

Lawrence Weiner graduated high school in the Bronx, New York at 16 and began his career as a very young man at the height of Abstract Expressionism, creating Cratering Piece in 1960 when he was just 19. An action work, Cratering consisted of explosives set to ignite simultaneously in the four corners of a field in Marin County, California. Following that, Weiner spent six years in the early 1960s making explosions in the landscape of California, making craters as individual sculptures. He also became known for gestures described in simple statements, meant to evoke ambiguity around whether the artwork consisted of the gesture or the statement describing the gesture.

Weiner is considered one of the central figures in the formation of conceptual art in the 1960s, along with contemporaries Douglas Huebler, Robert Barry, Joseph Kosuth and Sol LeWitt. In 1968, at the same time that LeWitt wrote “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” Weiner explained (or didn’t explain) his work this way:

1. The artist may construct the piece.

2. The piece may be fabricated.

3. The piece need not be built.

Each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artist the decision as to condition rests with the receiver upon the occasion of receivership.

Weiner’s first book, Statementscame out in 1968 and is considered one of the seminal conceptual artist books of the era. He was also a contributor to the famous Xerox Book, published by Seth Siegelaub in 1968. Weiner’s composed texts describe process, structure and material, and though Weiner’s work is almost exclusively language-based, he regards his practice as sculpture, citing the elements described in the texts as his materials.

Since the early 1970s, wall installations have been Weiner’s primary medium, but he works in a wide variety of media, including video, film, books, sound art using audio tape, sculpture, performance art, installation art and graphic art.