Lawrence Weiner

As Far as the Eye Can See

27 Sep 2008 - 11 Jan 2009

Lawrence Weiner in his exhibition in K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
For Lawrence Weiner art is about “relationships between human beings and objects, and between objects and other objects in relation to human beings”. This concept which is based on materials and their interconnection explains why he also refers to his language-based works as sculptures.
These works deal with an endless variety of physical and cultural phenomena. Figures of speech, punctuation and graphic elements are used in order to break down conventional hierarchies and boundaries. These works address both simple and complex issues, and are both theoretically and poetically challenging.
Initially Weiner favoured a particularly matter-of-fact typography for his works. However, since the eighties he has developed an increasingly wide spectrum of printing styles and graphic elements.
Weiner’s works are often created for specific places, although they are generally transferable to other situations. It is important to him that they should adapt to the culture in question. For example, as a rule, they are not only shown in English but also in the language of the country.
Fifty of these language based works and also several created later on, make up the core of the exhibition at K21. In addition, six early paintings, a sculpture and about 30 drawings will be shown.
Apart from that, over 200 artist’s books and multiples of all kinds, and also about 230 posters will be on display. An audio guide will give visitors an impression of Weiner’s acoustic works.
The exhibition in K21 will be supplemented by works in public places which show Weiner’s incredibly flexible kind of art in connection with everyday life.
The spectrum ranges from an almost 100 metre long work on the façade of the currently closed K20 building, to sporadic interventions in one of the most important daily newspapers of North Rhine-Westphalia, to a tram decorated with a language-based work which will be deployed in Düsseldorf during the show. The exhibition’s extension into the city’s environs is partly inspired by the fact that early on Weiner established intense connections with Europe and also with the Rhineland.
Since 1969 important shows on his work have been taking place here. Collectors and museums started purchasing his creations. Earlier than anywhere else, critics and audiences were confronted with the radical quality and extent of his oeuvre.

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