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Art & Art History

Artists, Words, and Writing: Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner

Monday, November 09, 1987
Gallery 400 Lecture Room
400 South Peoria Street

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A self-taught artist, Lawrence Weiner (born 1942) is considered one of the central figures in the formation of conceptual art. In language, Weiner found a medium and tool for representing material relationships in the external world in as objective a manner as possible, one that could eliminate all references to authorial subjectivity all traces of the artist’s hand, his skill, or his taste. The wall installations that have been a primary medium for Weiner since the 1970s consist solely of words in a nondescript lettering painted on walls. The lettering need not be done by the artist himself, as long as the sign painter complies with the instructions dictated by the artist. Although this body of work focuses on the potential for language to serve as an art form, the subjects of his epigrammatic statements are often materials, or a physical action or process.