News — 29 Jun 2010
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam proudly announces the acquisition
of SCATTERED MATTER BROUGHT TO A KNOWN DENSITY WITH THE
WEIGHT OF THE WORLD / CUSPED (2007) by American artist Lawrence
Weiner (b. New York, 1942) as a gift to the museum’s collection from the
Association of Friends of the Stedelijk Museum. The work will debut as
part of The Temporary Stedelijk at the Stedelijk Museum—the interim
program in the Stedelijk Museum’s renovated historic building that opens
to the public on 28 August 2010—and will remain on view indefinitely.
One of the central figures associated with the emergence and foundations
of Conceptual art in the 1960s, Lawrence Weiner remains one of the most
significant artists working today. Weiner‘s work consists of language plus the
materials referred to, wherein language is also considered a sculptural material.
The conditions of a work of art have been the basis of Weiner‘s practice since
1967. His “STATEMENT OF INTENT”, an often-quoted declaration associated
with the foundations of Conceptual art first published in the catalogue
accompanying the exhibition January 5–31, 1969, organized by Seth Siegelaub
in New York (appearing subsequently in slightly revised forms), remains at the
core of his practice. The “STATEMENT OF INTENT” is as follows:
1. THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE WORK.
2. THE WORK MAY BE FABRICATED.
3. THE WORK NEED NOT BE BUILT.
EACH BEING EQUAL AND CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF
THE ARTIST THE DECISION AS TO CONDITION RESTS WITH
THE RECEIVER UPON THE OCCASION OF RECEIVERSHIP.
Weiner‘s employment of language is purposely open-ended to allow for
translation, transference, and transformation by the receiver; each time the
work is made, it is made anew. Not fixed in time and place, every manifestation
and point of reception of the work is different; each person will use the work
differently and find a different relationship to its content.
As Stedelijk Museum director Ann Goldstein has written in the catalogue
accompanying the artist‘s 2007 retrospective exhibition, “The relationship of
human beings to objects remains at the core of Weiner‘s practice and is bound
in those relationships with materials, whether physically present as fabricated
objects or materially present as language. In all of its potential conditions of
receivership, Weiner‘s work, whether manifested on the floor of his studio,
on the walls of an exhibition space, on a page of a book, or in the mind of the
spectator, produces an engagement with the culture at large—every time
anew. In so doing he offers us the remarkable opportunity to consider our own
relationships with objects and our culture, to participate in the production of
meaning, and, ultimately, to consider how, we too, can reconfigure, as the artist
has stated, our understanding of the way we stand in relation to our place in the
This major acquisition was initiated by former Stedelijk Museum Director Gijs
van Tuyl, who worked closely with the artist to select and site the work. Funding
for the purchase has been generously provided by the Friends of the Stedelijk
Museum, who made this major donation in anticipation of the museum‘s grand
reopening. The work is situated in a large gallery (formerly the restaurant) in the
historical building of the Stedelijk Museum in dynamic dialogue with the Karel
Appel mural from 1956. It will be presented as part of the museum‘s upcoming
program The Temporary Stedelijk at the Stedelijk Museum, which opens to the
public on 28 August 2010, and it will remain on view indefinitely.
This recent acquisition joins 79 objects by Weiner in the collection of the
Stedelijk Museum, composed of, amongst others, posters, multiples, editions
and artist’s books, including AN OBJECT MADE TO RESEMBLE ANOTHER BY
THE ADDITION OF A SUFFICIENT QUANTITY OF EXTERNAL QUALITIES (1988)
on a bronze plaque on the facade of the museum building.
Weiner lives and works in New York City and Amsterdam. The Stedelijk
Museum is privileged to have had a long relationship with artist, whose work
was first shown at the museum in the legendary group exhibition “Op Losse
Schroeven” in 1969. In 1988, the museum organized the major retrospective
exhibition “What is Set Upon the Table Sits Upon the Table”, curated by Marja
Bloem. Stedelijk Museum director Ann Goldstein co-curated (with Donna de
Salvo) Weiner‘s first retrospective exhibition to originate in the United States,
“Lawrence Weiner: AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE”, which was co-organized by
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Whitney Museum of
American Art, New York, in 2007.