Lawrence Weiner




Lawrence Weiner grew up in the Bronx and attended Stuyvesant High School, working as a longshoreman in the early mornings before classes. As a young man he hitchhiked to San Francisco and lived among the Beat poets. His earliest work was done in Mill Valley, in 1960, and since then Weiner’s ideas have changed our understanding of the ways that art can be experienced.

In order to avoid the singularity of objects, in 1968 Weiner began using language as a means of presenting his sculpture, and has used this method ever since. The work of art is in the material, movement or transition referenced by the words, rather than the words themselves. Unlike poetry, Weiner’s art asks us to apprehend an idea in real space. Physical, spatial and accessible, his work can be experienced and remembered in many ways by a broad audience.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT, grew out of a visit he made in 2009, when Weiner spent time walking the campus and speaking with researchers and others in the community. The work was proposed as an essential gesture, to be stated here in a colored, light filled outdoor balcony high on the signature building of the campus, the Rutter Center designed by Ricardo Legorreta. As a kind of consequence of the transformation described, there is written in weld bead the words SUBSEQUENTLY ALLOWED TO DISSIPATE - on several rusting steel disks of different size embedded in the ground, scattered across the campus and not all in view of the initial gesture BROUGHT TO LIGHT. The most expansive work in the Bishop Collection, it is visible from several blocks away, looking up, and close up by walking, looking down.