Lawrence Weiner


Vinyl decals on wall
Dimensions variable (installed along wall
approx. 38 feet 2 inches by 33 feet 3 inches)

Located Opposite SW Monumental Stairs

Anyone who knows how to read street signs will be able to understand Lawrence Weiner’s BROUGHT UP TO SPEED (2009). No insider information is necessary to get what matters from this mural-size wall work- the ideas it generates, the feelings that accompany them, and the conversations that follow.

Weiner was one of the founding fathers of conceptual art. This internationally renowned movement began with the belief that objects of art are less important than the impressions they make on viewers, who are free to take these impressions with them – and free to take them as far as they desire. Such populist commitments have been essential to Weiner’s art since 1968, when he quit making paintings and began using stencils to write brief statements directly on the wall.

Here, Weiner’s piece features phrases people use every day: “brought up to speed,” “brought down to earth,” and “catch as catch can.” They call to mind highlights of past games that are still vivid memories: say, a rookie learning on the job, the thump of a bone-crunching tackle, and a speedy receiver making an acrobatic catch.

Weiner’s words also invite visitors to anticipate moments that have not yet happened on the field, to look forward to more excitement in the future. That is the beauty of language. If it captures your imagination, it can be used over and over again by thousands and thousands of people without wearing out or losing its punch.

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