A sculpture made of language, this work is realized anew each time it is installed. It consists of the statement that constitutes its title, which can be presented in any number of ways but is most often realized as text on a gallery wall. MOVED FROM UP FRONT belongs to a large body of works that Weiner calls Statements. Devoid of emotional expression, these short texts often evoke sculptural procedures or materials and seem to refer to actions of the artist in the studio. They emerged from Weiner’s rejection of the privilege accorded to traditional mediums like painting and sculpture and from his desire to overcome the exclusivity attached to the ownership of art objects.
A leading figure in Conceptual art, Weiner values the accessibility and transmissibility of language. As a material, language offers him a way to circumvent the elitism of “high” art and to emphasize the role of the viewer or reader. “The criteria are totally non-hierarchical,” he has reflected. “The work gains its sculptural qualities by being read, not by being written.” He also uses varied and flexible methods of distribution, including books and posters, to reach new audiences and present his work in everyday contexts other than museums and galleries.
Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)