JEVNAKER.- Kistefos Museum
announced the unveiling of a new site-specific sculpture by internationally acclaimed American artist Lawrence Weiner.
Kistefos is one of Europe's most important sculpture parks for contemporary art. Built on the grounds of a historical pulp mill at Jevnaker in Norway, Kistefos today comprises an industrial museum, two art galleries and an impressive sculpture park in scenic surroundings. In 2019, the museum opened The Twist, an award-winning new gallery space designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group that takes a sculptural form spanning the river Randselva and twisting at the mid-point.
Lawrence Weiners new text-based work is installed on two fašades of the historic waterworks on the site and is a direct response to Kistefos rich industrial history. Throughout his 60-year career, Weiner has developed a large number of slogans that can be adapted to different situations and places so it is a rarity that the artist has worked so site-specifically at Kistefos by creating new text especially for the installation.
The sculpture park already includes site-specific works by leading international artists such as Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor, Marc Quinn, Jeppe Hein, Philip King, llya Kabakov and Lynda Benglis, amongst others. The Weiner sculpture is gratefully acquired with thanks to a generous donation from Kistefos AS and becomes the 47th work in the permanent collection at Kistefos.
New York-based American artist Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942) has been one of the leading figures of the conceptual art movement since the 1960s and is today considered one of the worlds most important contemporary artists.
His text based slogans that he defines as sculptures have appeared in the permanent collections, as public art commissions and exhibited in major museums and private collections around the world.
His notion that the conception of a work of art and its presentation through language as a sufficient means to render an artwork resulted in a groundbreaking approach to art and its presentation. Earlier works tended to be more art-specific in a conceptual dialogue, whereas newer works are often more lyrical and playful, opening up and embellishing Weiners 1968 declaration of intent:
1 AN ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT A WORK
2 A WORK MAY BE FABRICATED
3 A WORK NEED NOT BE BUILT
A REASONABLE ASSUMPTION IS THAT EACH BEING EQUAL AND
CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF THE ARTIST THE DECISION AS
TO CONDITION RESTS WITH THE NEEDS OF THE RECEIVER UPON
THE OCCASION OF RECEIVERSHIP
The Public Space has played an important role throughout Weiner's career. His slogans in sculptural form have been mounted on the facades of public buildings around the world, translated into countless languages. He states: The work requires a formal situation in order to be presented, walls were built for things to be put upon them and refers to the inextricable relationship between an artwork and its context. Once conceived an artwork exists whether constructed or not, but importantly that artwork requires a site, be it a museum wall, a billboard, a matchbox or a building exterior. It can be permanent or temporary but needs a formal situation that addresses the relationship of human beings to objects and objects to objects in relationship to human beings
The most important thing for the existence of a work of art, according to Weiner, is not the physical presence but the fact that someone experiences it: the viewer, the recipient. He believes that it should be completely free for each each individual viewer, with their own personal wishes and needs, to interpret the work. In this way he promotes a kind of universal accessibility to art.
Weiner seeks a radical redefinition of the relationship between artist and viewer, and at the same time an eternal movement in his works. They are never placed in a finite location, but are redefined again and again for each encounter with a new viewer.
The work is installed permanently and on view throughout 2020 and the coming seasons.