Lawrence Weiner’s Language of Forms

One of the founders of the conceptual art movement in the ’60s, Lawrence Weiner is a sculptor who uses language to reference materials and actions. Presented on gallery walls, building facades, objects, posters, and in books, Weiner’s texts convey ideas that can be realized in real space or simply imagined. Words convey the content of each piece without specifying any of its physical qualities. The subject of a solo show at New York’s Marian Goodman Gallery, which beckons back to the visual playfulness of his 2007 Whitney Museum retrospective, Weiner shows that there is no end to the possible presentations of his poetic pieces.

Creating a seductive, S-shaped structure to hold five of his wall works in the main gallery and plopping down a dynamic floor piece that plays off the curvilinear structure in the backspace, Weiner takes the viewer down a pensive path that traverses a conceptual realm of his imaginary LANGUAGE + MATERIALS REFERRED TO works. EVERY WHICH WAY + UP could be as big or small of an object in paper, steel, or any conceivable material. Likewise, TAKEN FROM THE WIND & BOLTED TO THE GROUND could be a car in a tornado or plastic bag that floated through space until it got caught under a gate.

Cluster of drawings, unrelated to the wall and floor works, and an animation, which riffs on the phrases HE SAID, SHE SAID and THEY SAW, WE SAW, while providing the show’s witty title, GYROSCOPICALLY SPEAKING, enliven an inner gallery and reveal the inventiveness of an artist still in his prime.

Lawrence Weiner: GYROSCOPICALLY SPEAKING is on view at Marian Goodman Gallery through January 21.

Click through below for a gallery of images.


Lawrence Weiner, PUSHED FORWARD/ CLOSE BY/ PUSHED ASIDE/ CLOSE BY/ WITH GRACEFUL HASTE, 2009, LANGUAGE + MATERIALS REFERRED TO. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris