Lawrence Weiner has taken over the Færch Wing at Holstebro Kunstmuseum with his solo exhibition CLOSE TO A RAINBOW. This large presentation of the artist’s work features the textual piece MATTER AS WE KNOW IT + RED PAINT + YELLOW MUD + GREEN SLIME & BURIED WHERE THE EARTH IS SOFT ENOUGH, which is now permanently featured on both the interior and exterior walls of the museum’s Færch Wing. The simple composition of words, symbols, typography and colours dramatizes the relationship between art’s spirit and matter. The installation visualizes and constitutes physical acts and interactions through statements and graphic elements rather than in defined materials.

Sculptural language

In MATTER AS WE KNOW IT, the viewer is actively invited into a discussion about the tangible substance of art that revolves around such key topics as the relationship between abstract thoughts and constructions of reality, signs and meaning and the limitations and affordance of language. The viewer’s personal perspectives and associations thus become essential elements in the communicative action of the piece.

Weiner’s conceptual approach to art and aesthetics is manifested in typography and language in works that use language as an evocative material and which aim to provide the viewer with an experience that is unaffected by the artist’s feelings and artistic execution. To Weiner, language is an objective medium that lends itself to free and agile works of art. The statements are mobile representations that, as he sees it, can adapt to a site and become accessible to most people.

Redefining the museum garden

On the outer facade of the Færch wing, MATTER AS WE KNOW IT faces the museum’s sculpture garden and the path system in the abutting publicly owned wood. The textual installation and the exhibition are thus accessible to a wide audience round the clock, further amplifying Weiner’s notion of open and accessible art.

Exhibition context

MATTER AS WE KNOW IT has a prior connection to Holstebro Kunstmuseum, as it was originally created for the exhibition Heart of Darkness in 1995. In this context, it engaged in a dialogue with objects from the museum’s African collection selected by Weiner.

In the exhibition CLOSE TO A RAINBOW it is presented in an interaction with ten of the artist’s other textual works of art, including two in a Danish translation, and a number of works on paper. The exhibition is open from 5 June to 31 October 2021.

About the artist

The American artist Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942) is considered one of most significant artists in the international contemporary art scene. Weiner had his breakthrough in the 1960s as a key member of the conceptual art movement, and artistic practice has its roots in avant-garde movements such as minimalism and Fluxus. Weiner works mainly with language and typography but has also expressed himself through performance art, sculpture, sound and film. He is represented in several Danish museums, including ARKEN and SMK – National Gallery of Denmark. In Holstebro, Weiner is known for his wall installation Inskription (Inscription), which has adorned Holstebro city hall since 1991.