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Lawrence Weiner & Birgir Andrésson
30 March–13 May
Language is at the essence of Lawrence Weiner and Birgir Andrésson’s artistries. The iconic conceptualists, who were also friends, are inextricably linked to the power of words and their methods of expression, particularly through the visual power of text. Andrésson and Weiner explored the boundaries of what art can be, pushing past traditional understandings of objecthood and viewership to create new methods of expression. For both artists, their existential and philosophical contemplations formed distinct practices that reverberated internationally to change the course of contemporary art.
Birgir Andrésson’s interest in methods of communication was heightened by growing up as a sighted person with blind parents in a home for the visually impaired. The reliance on the spoken word in Andrésson’s life created a heightened response to language and its descriptive powers. In addition to language, elements of humour, as well as national and personal identity, are important to his practice, and Icelandic history resonates strongly throughout his work. Andrésson, whose work is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale in 1995. He had solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Iceland and at the Reykjavík Art Museum, where a major survey show curated by art historian Robert Hobbs was presented in 2022; this survey exhibition was accompanied by a new monograph published by Distanz Verlag.
Lawrence Weiner’s devotion to questioning convention made the artist a leading figure in the 1960s Conceptual art movement, and his graphic use of capitalized text, marks, and lines formed a critically acclaimed visual language unique to him. Weiner has exhibited widely at international venues including Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; The Jewish Museum, New York; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. A major retrospective of Weiner’s work was presented by the Whitney Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf from 2007 – 2009.