Exactly one year ago, the art world suffered a monumental loss when Lawrence Weiner passed away. Nearly a year before, the pioneering Conceptual artist had begun working with art marketplace Avant Arte on what would become one of his final projects: a sculpture in the form of a jacquard blanket—the artist’s first and only—titled “HERE AND NOW”.
The words first appeared in Weiner’s body of work, where linguistics and philosophy played a pivotal role, in 1996, at his solo exhibition at Tokyo’s Gallery 360. His work on view there “TOUCHED BY WATER NOW & THEN SLOWED DOWN FAST HERE & NOW,” was accompanied by a poster, “HERE & NOW NOW & THEN.”
While Weiner was often referred to as a Conceptual artist throughout his career, he viewed himself as a sculptor. It’s revelatory context for the evolution of “HERE AND NOW,” which was originally intended to be a hammer, then a hammock, before becoming the blanket it is today. According to Avant Arte, Weiner always wanted this sculpture to be a piece suitable for the home environment of collectors, unlike the room-size (or larger) works that became emblematic of his later years.
The artist’s estate, which collaborated with Avant Arte to bring the sculpture to life, told Surface that Weiner had a deep appreciation for the platform’s democratization of access to art. “Lawrence really liked Avant Arte, specifically its many artists from different groups, ideologies, and generations. To quote Lawrence, ‘There is no hierarchy of better or worse when you speak of the consumer, the user of art.’”