Writings at the Wall: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner at Regen Tasks

Regen Tasks’ first actual exhibition was once a solo display with Lawrence Weiner. It opened in December 1989, and was once adopted through any other ten earlier than his dying in 2021; the gallery external on Santa Monica Street is laced with Weiner’s textual content and font work of art. Weiner now not most effective was once a game-changing champion of conceptual artwork because the overdue ‘60s, and a practitioner of text-as-image paintings that fused precepts of concrete poetry with avant-garde concepts about materiality, objecthood, authorship, and the primacy of concepts — he was once gallery circle of relatives.

lawrence weiner regen projects

Catherine Opie: Lawrence, 2012. Pigment print 33 x 25 inches (© the artist, Courtesy Regen Tasks)

Weiner performed his concepts out through the use of language as a type of uncooked subject matter for his paintings, very similar to how different artists may use paint, ink or clay, with the exception of with the planned aim of divorcing the inventive impulse from the bodily strategy of translation into an object or picture, and as an alternative aiming immediately on the concept of it. This existed in part towards the artwork marketplace’s acquisitive intuition for treasured items. Weiner’s imaginative and prescient was once one by which the phrases and the particular however ambivalent vignettes they constitute, activated through their set up affixed in architectural settings, stood instead of a bodily object, whilst additionally vaguely but evocatively describing what that object may were or seemed like, had it been made.

Stars Don’t Stand Nonetheless within the Sky: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner, set up view at Regen Tasks

One specifically hanging instance incorporated within the display is the large-scale mural studying “BLOCKS OF PINE LAID BUTT TO BUTT A STONE’S THROW FROM THE WATER,” a 1986 paintings whose medium is indexed as “Language + the fabrics referred to.” Whether or not the paintings is subsequently finished in no matter picture involves the viewer/reader’s thoughts, or if it is ever finished in any respect, is of little hobby to Weiner, whose hard work most commonly came about right through the having of the theory. Whether or not it was once even him who carried out the writing to the areas was once inappropriate; even right through his lifetime he wasn’t all that thinking about the authorship of execution or transaction, however most effective of concepts. The irony is that Weiner’s seek for a dematerialized expression yielded masses of very cool, visually fulfilling, and eminently collectible artworks.

Sue Williams, 2022 (© the artist, Courtesy Regen Tasks)

Weiner’s affect at the technology of conceptual artists of the overdue Nineteen Sixties and early ‘70s can’t be overstated, however the lineage of his concepts expanded, as next generations took equivalent understand. The gallery’s unusual tribute display, Stars Don’t Stand Nonetheless within the Sky, surveys the ones intergenerational communiqués, throughout modes of abstraction and compositions in response to language, with some perennial favorites and quite a lot of surprises.


Weiner’s personal BITS & PIECES PUT TOGETHER TO PRESENT A SEMBLANCE OF A WHOLE (1991, Language + the fabrics referred to, Dimensions variable, showing on this transient iteration Courtesy of Walker Artwork Middle), covers the entire of the doorway wall, forming the easiest second of touchdown and introductory description for the display inside of. And certainly, the weather of the meeting are way more various than its premise may recommend; for whilst there’s a predominance of alternative “text-based artwork” jumbled in with meditations on summary certain and unfavorable shapes for wall and flooring, it’s in fact the fullness of the entire word-based content material that demonstrates essentially the most range of fashion, medium, standpoint, dating to message, graphic sensibility, and temper.

Stars Don’t Stand Nonetheless within the Sky: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner, set up view at Regen Tasks

Works through different primary artists singularly recognized with using textual content additionally make their presence felt. The place Ruscha’s art work do use textual content in a deracinated, once in a while pun-filled approach, his paintings additionally keeps its obtrusive standing as a portray or drawing. That is true of many, even maximum, others within the exhibition, particularly the ones like Joseph Kosuth, John Baldessari, Glenn Ligon, Jack Pierson, Mel Bochner, Sue Williams, Doug Aitken, Jenny Holzer, Raymond Pettibon, or even Virgil Abloh in his collaboration with Weiner for Louis Vuitton — all of whom organize to honor and reveal the affect of Weiner, however with out relinquishing just about as a lot in their company and authorship in terms of creating a bodily murals.

Stars Don’t Stand Nonetheless within the Sky: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner, set up view at Regen Tasks

Of explicit word for its meta postmodern stance, the sheer perfection of its inspiration, and the refreshingly natural humor of its spirit, is the 2012 quick video through Ed Ruscha, titled “Ed Ruscha Toasts Lawrence Weiner,” a correct love letter to Weiner, within the well-known video idiom of Bob Dylan, by which the voiceover reads off playing cards that every comprise a piece of Weiner’s. Strung in combination set to tune, and with a conceivable rabbinical argument taking place within the background, the paintings highlights the huge possible for taking enjoyment of language, and is a suitably intimate, late-career demonstration of affection between buddies and co-workers in a heartfelt touchstone for all of the endeavor.


Stars Don’t Stand Nonetheless within the Sky: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner is on view at Regen Tasks, 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, via Oct. 22; loose; regenprojects.com.

Stars Don’t Stand Nonetheless within the Sky: A Tribute to Lawrence Weiner, set up view at Regen Tasks

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Updated: September 22, 2022 — 3:06 pm