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The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents Drawings by Lawrence Weiner, the first major exhibition devoted to works on paper by Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942, Bronx, New York), one of the most culturally engaged artists of our time.
WRITTEN ON THE WIND comprises an extensive survey of nearly 300 drawings produced over a fifty-year period. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the artist’s remarkable trajectory in drawing— from cartoons, notebooks, and otherwise unseen working material and sketches, together with formal works on paper. The exhibition is narrated by his gestural graphics, leading the viewer into the sensibility of Weiner’s oeuvre. Many works contain his initial thoughts and ideas that are often seen transformed into the artists sculptural works using language. Drawing is at the origin and underlines his entire production; the exhibition itself is organized as if it were a drawing in and of itself, as the exhibition has been composed by the artist in a specially designed architectural installation for the Stedelijk’s monumental lower-level gallery space in the new wing.
Ann Goldstein, director of the Stedelijk Museum: “This remarkably beautiful and affecting exhibition gives us the unprecedented opportunity to consider this significant aspect of Weiner’s work, which is at once profoundly intimate and powerfully insightful. With these works, we can participate in the production of meaning that is at the core of Weiner’s distinctive use of language.”
One of the central figures associated with the emergence and foundations of Conceptual art in the 1960s, Weiner remains one of the most significant artists working today. Weiner‘s work consists of “language + the materials referred to,” wherein language is also considered a sculptural, i.e. 3-dimensional material. Well- known for his text pieces and wall installations, his work spans a broad range of forms, including drawings, books, films, videos, music, posters, editions, and public projects. Weiner has often defined art as “the relationship of human beings to objects and objects to objects in relation to human beings.” His employment of language is purposely open-ended to allow for translation, transference, and transformation by the receiver; each time the work is made,
it is made anew. Not fixed in time and place, every manifestation and point of reception of the work is different; each person will use the work differently and find a different relationship to its content.
The Stedelijk Museum and Amsterdam are privileged to have a long history with the artist and his work. Since 1970, Weiner has lived and maintained a studio both in New York and Amsterdam and his work is prominently featured in the Stedelijk’s collection and in numerous exhibitions over the years, starting with the 1969 exhibition Op Losse Schroeven.
© Stedelijk Museum.