Exhibition | Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Distance at Blenheim

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 13, 2015


Lawrence Weiner, Far Enough Away as To Come Readily to Hand, installed in the First State Room at Blenheim Palace. Photo by Hugo Glendinning.

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Press release, via Art Daily (11 October 2015) . . .

Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Distance
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, 10 October — 20 December 2015

Blenheim Art Foundation presents a new exhibition by American artist and founding figure of Conceptual Art, Lawrence Weiner, titled Within a Realm of Distance. On view now at Blenheim Palace, the exhibition showcases works conceived by the artist over the past several decades, in addition to significant works created especially for the Palace. Integrated throughout the ornate interior as well as the monumental exterior of the 18th-century building, the exhibition demonstrates the artist’s practice of using language as a medium to create a multitude of sculptural forms, viewed in contrast to the traditional backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lawrence Weiner is regarded as one of the most influential artists working today with a career spanning over fifty years. The exhibition, conceived by the artist in close collaboration with Blenheim Art Foundation and co-curator Christian Gether, Director, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, features a new and ambitious body of work presented in a building that dates back to 1704 and which famously became the birth place of British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in 1874. Existing as an idea rather than a physical object, Weiner invites visitors to experience his work in tandem with the rich heritage of the Palace.

Using the Palace as a support structure for his artistic vision, Weiner has created several site-specific installations, allowing visitors to experience his work and the building’s historic collections simultaneously. The work—which gives the exhibition its name Within a Realm of Distance—is made up of brightly coloured and three-dimensional urethane and vinyl lettering, strikingly situated on the frieze of the Palace’s main entrance. The ceiling of the Long Library, which runs the entire length of the Palace’s West Front making it one of the longest rooms in a private house in Britain, now features the work More than Enough after being almost untouched for the last 200 years. Site-specific pieces have also been made for the west side of the Great Hall where the words Near & Far & Equal Measure at Some Point, are located above the arch, and the text So Far Flung adorns the Green Drawing Room.

Additional works include Far Enough Away as To Come Readily to Hand, an almost four metre pvc banner with vinyl overlay, has replaced the tapestry depicting the Battle of Blenheim hanging in the First State Room. In the Chapel, is A Penny Here, A Penny There, above the marble monument to the first Duke and Duchess and their two sons. Found Alone after Any Given Time, consisting of seven embroideries displaying differing texts, are also hung in place of existing drawings and prints throughout the Palace and presented as a homily. The works are both subtly and strikingly juxtaposed against the art and architecture of the Palace, creating something completely unique.

Within a Realm of Distance is the second exhibition by Blenheim Art Foundation, a programme of contemporary art which sees exhibitions presented at the Palace by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, and follows the inaugural exhibition Ai Weiwei at Blenheim Palace (2014). The Foundation was established by Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill, whose family have resided at Blenheim Palace since the early 18th century, and whose brother is the 12th Duke of Marlborough. A dedicated collector of contemporary art, Lord Edward has long held the ambition to launch a contemporary art programme at Blenheim Palace, and realised Blenheim Art Foundation in 2014 with its Director, Michael Frahm.

Michael Frahm, Director, Blenheim Art Foundation, said, “During the months of October through to December, to visit Blenheim Palace will be a new experience and one that is rooted in a consideration of our own relation to objects and the world around us. Weiner’s sculptures meet history in a way that has never been done before at Blenheim Palace and we hope this will challenge, excite and inspire our visitors. The exhibition is a testament to Weiner’s past achievement and an assured demonstration of his continued creative exuberance.”

Lord Edward Spencer Churchill, Founder, Blenheim Art Foundation, said, “We are truly delighted and excited to be showing Lawrence Weiner Within a Realm of Distance at Blenheim Palace. This our second show after the phenomenally successful inaugural show by Ai Weiwei. Lawrence’s work speaks for itself, and he is a giant of the contemporary art scene. One of the fathers of modern conceptualism and a man of vast intellect and humanity; we are so excited to welcome him and his ideas to Blenheim.”

Lawrence Weiner said, “…where we are in the midst of where we were, the relationships of objects to objects in relation to human beings.”

Lawrence Weiner (b.1942) lives and works in West Village, New York and is considered a seminal figure in the founding of Conceptual Art. Weiner is one of the most radical artists to use language as his artistic medium and in 1969 Weiner cemented his mode of practice in a Statement of Intent, which, considered a pivotal moment at the beginning of the artistic movement, stipulated that his statements were the artwork whilst both their production and interpretation “rests with the receiver.”

Recent and current solo exhibitions include: Straight Down to Below: Lawrence Weiner (part of Artist Rooms on Tour at Tate Modern and National Galleries of Scotland), Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland, 25 October – 19 April 2015; All In Due Course, South London Gallery, London, 26 September – 23 November 2014; The Grace of A Gesture (curated by Thomas Kellein), Written Art Foundation in conjunction with the 55th Venice Biennale, Palazzo Bembo, Venice, 29 May – 4 November 2013; As Far As The Eye Can See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 15 November – 10 February 2008. He participated in documenta 5, 6, 7, and 13 (1972, 1977, 1982, 2012); the 36th, 41st, 50th and 55th Venice Biennales (1972, 1984, 2003, 2013); and the 27th Biennale de Sao Paulo (2006).

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