Lawrence Weiner's art can appear painted across an entire building, floating inside a souvenir pen or sung as a lyric by a country and western band. One of the canonical Conceptual artists of the 1960s, Weiner was among the first to 'dematerialize' the object of art into the realm of language and ideas.
He composes texts that describe process, material and structure while evoking a poetic drama that unfolds in the reader's mind. Using a utilitarian yet elegant typeface and stark monochrome or vivid colours, his works have a striking formal beauty. Dedicated to the circulation of art and ideas, a single statement of Weiner's can take the form of myriad media, ranging from paint to stone to video. This book is the first comprehensive survey of an internationally-celebrated artist who continues to compose innovative new commissions around the world.
Alexander Alberro, contemporary art scholar and author of numerous texts on Conceptualism, collaborates with writer and art archivist Alice Zimmerman to overview Wiener's extensive oeuvre. Renowned art theorist Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, who has written widely on postwar European and American Art, conducts an interview with the artist. Author of a survey on Minimalism, critic and artist David Batchelor examines the chameleon changes of one work in a range of contexts. The artist has chosen poems by Kenneth Patchen and W. B. Yeats for the Artist's Choice, and for the Artist's Writings he has made a selection of his his own scripts, lectures and previous interviews.
Alexander Alberro is Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Florida. His writings have appeared in October, Artforum and Frieze magazines, as well as numerous catalogues. Alice Zimmerman is based in New York and Amsterdam, and is Weiner's official archivist and documenter. She was Research Editor on his compilations Show and Tell: The Films and Videos of LW (Imschoot, 1992) and Specific and General Works (Le Nouveau Musee, 1993). She is also creator of the Moved Pictures Archives, an extensive collection of artists' books and writings. Zimmerman has produced and performed in artists' films, videos and books since the 1960s. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh is an art historian and critic and a Professor of twentieth-century and post-war art history at Harvard University. An editor of October magazine and co-author of Art Since 1900 (2005), Buchloh has also published his collected essays in Neo-Avantgarde and Culture Industry (2000) and Formalism and Historicity (2004). David Batchelor is an artist, writer and lecturer at London's Royal College of Art. He has interviewed many artists who were part of the Minimalist and Conceptual art movements. Batchelor regularly contributes to Freize and Artforum magazines. He is a co-author of Realism, Rationalism, Surrealism: Art between the Wars (Yale, 1993) and his book Minimalism was published by the Tate Gallery in 1997.
Interview - Benjamin H.D. Buchloh talks with the artist about the genealogy of his work and its philosophical and socio-political implications; survey - Alexander Alberro and Alice Zimmerman combine anecdotal accounts of Weiner's life and times, with an analysis of how his sentence constructions occupy space and create an audience; focus - David Batchelor explores the experience of one work and how its meaning changes as it occupies different sites; artist's choice - the artist has chosen "An Irishman Foresees His Death" by W.B. Yeats and Kenneth Patchen's "When in the Course of Human Events" - both poems address the space between being in the world and individual consciousness; artist's writings - statements, project notes, film scripts and song lyrics by Weiner.