Lawrence Weiner is exhibiting at Lisson Gallery in London from November 28, 2012 to January 12, 2013: Be That As It Way.
Lawrence Weiner: Be That As It Way. Review by Isabel del Rio.
Words and sentences, our mind seems to be full of them, flying unconsciously, escorting us during the day, speaking in our deep dreams.
It’s possible to think only with images. It’s possible to act only following our feelings. It’s possible to live beyond the words and phrases. But if we need to explain an idea, to request an opportunity or to organize our rational mind, we need words, sentences, paragraphs, speeches. Words are the base of the rational thought.
How many sentences have we pronounced in our lifetime? Disjointed, ordered, forming chains, building pyramids, every kind of structures and nonsenses. How many sentences have we written?
Lawrence Weiner’s artwork focuses on words and sentences, on the written words and sentences on the walls of our busy cities and forgotten alleys. Short sentences that people can read quickly, that people can modify, which are part of our common culture in the end.
Then, in the current exhibition at Lisson Gallery, Lawrence Weiner is studying the beginning and the end of our thoughts and of our intimated expressions. However, at the same time, he is composing a song for our popular culture, a culture written by anonymous people from the beginning of time. Why do we know that the old Romans hated their emperors? By the official documents? By the protest signs on the walls of Pompeii? Yes, they are rhetoric questions.
In the current exhibition, Lawrence Weiner fills rooms with written thoughts. White walls of written hopes. Happy posters of sad protests, of wishes and doubts.
It’s a great different work by this conceptual artist.
If you have the chance, don’t miss Be That As It Way.
More information: http://www.lissongallery.com/
About Lawrence Weiner
Born on 10 February, 1942 in the Bronx, New York, Weiner was one of the major conceptual artists to come out of the 1960s in America, starting with his Cratering Piece at the start of the decade. Followed by sculpture, video, film, books, sound art, sculpture, performance art, installation art and more, Weiner has been the recipient of awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994, as well as the Skowhegan Medal for Painting/Conceptual Art in 1999. The creator of Statements (1968), considered by many to be a seminal conceptual artist book, Weiner’s work has been exhibited around the world, most notably at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2007-8, which displayed a retrospective of his career to date, alongside the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Solo exhibitions include: MUDAM Luxembourg (2010); MMU, Manchester (2010); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, (2008); Lisson Gallery, London (2008); and Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven (2006). Group shows include 54th Venice Biennale, Personal Structures (2011); Sharjah Biennial 9: Provisions for the Future (2009); Tate St. Ives, St. Ives (2009); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2006).