Wolf Prize Laureate in Arts 2017
“for the radicalism and avant-garde at the core of their work, and for inspiring generations to come”.
Lawrence Weiner (born 1942) is one of the leading figures in the art world of the last decades. Present in the field of art since 1967, he is recognized as a pioneer of conceptual art, displaying an unprecedented use of language as material.
His texts create unexpected substitutes of sculpture and painting on brick, cement or glass walls, on transparent or opaque surfaces, in art institutes and other placess. Whether in the context of art or the broader context of cities and landscapes, his texts create a multi-inspirational performance of humanism. Weiner’s texts are not limited to English alone, he uses a variety of local languages, a fact that enhances his accumulating work with a universal dimension, including a political core that doesn’t lose its strength as years go by. On the contrary – it accumulates more and more impact.
His unique handwriting, recognizable and anonymous at once, maintains the non-materialistic dimension of conceptual art in a world of art that is becoming increasingly focused on objects. As such, Weiner’s work is a signature over ever-lasting radicalism.
Choosing Lawrence Weiner and Laurie Anderson as the 2017 Wolf Prize Laureates is a choice of artists whose career is motivated by radical thought and practice. Deriving from a conceptual framework, their art is in constant search of the next level. Their choice is a declaration of faith in art that is not confined to the traditional objects of art, and exist beyond the restrictions and temptations of the art market.