Five decades of Sol LeWitt’s famous sculptures

Sol Lewitt - Four-Sided Pyramid, 1999, first installation 1997, concrete blocks and mortar, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA 2
Sol Lewitt – Four-Sided Pyramid, 1999, first installation 1997, concrete blocks and mortar, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA

Sol Lewitt’s starting point

Sol LeWitt is an iconic artist who is regarded as a founder of both Minimal and Conceptual art. He believed that the figures that the mind can think of are possible to make and construct. To start his structural design making and abstract design actualization, he used the square as a reference figure where all the other figures were derived from it. His serial approach in making figures, using the square as the denominator structure, led him to advance further and make geometrical figures like triangles, circles and other figures using wood. In his five-decade career, he insisted that ideas were the backbone of his efficiency and artistic clarity.

He continued to make architectural designs and some of his famous works include the wall structure. The open grid of this structure reflects the identicalness of individual cubic units and the general structure as well. His other works depicted the dynamism of geometrical form cut at oblique angles to represent the image and the shadow as well. Although his works were made under the concept of minimalism, the structure mimics reality to the viewers.

Sol LeWitt portrait with sculpture
Sol LeWitt portrait with sculpture

The last two decades of his career

In his last two decades of his career, he started using gouache. Things started changing, and he started painting his artworks with different paints that he used to make with gouaches. With the colors and their structural designs, the new works he made looked more perfect than even the previous monochromatic geometric designs.

Video: Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cubes

Sol LeWitt and curator Gary Garrels of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art discuss LeWitt’s installation Incomplete Open Cubes, 1974.

2min 42sec

Conclusion

His works are scattered everywhere in city hall park grounds, on benches, gardens and fountains for people to see. They are spectacular and attractive, but the majority of the people are not aware of who made these structures. They rhyme perfectly with the trees supplementing their beauty, making the environment look outstanding. People who get time can enjoy the structures that showcase the creativity and talent of the maker himself. Sol was an artist who used to make structures from his imagination.

Although his works were more of geometrical designs and actualizing abstract figures, they were still meaningful in the field of architecture. He is known to have made sculptures of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Robert Smithson.

Sculptures

1960s

Sol LeWitt - Serial Project 1 -A 6, 1967, Courtesy Pace Gallery
Sol LeWitt – Serial Project 1 -A 6, 1967

Sol LeWitt - Modular Cube:Base, 1967, Baked enamel on steel, 43 x 128 x 128 cm
Sol LeWitt – Modular Cube/Base, 1967, Baked enamel on steel, 43 x 128 x 128 cm

Sol LeWitt - Untitled, 1966-1967, 1967, Painted steel , 70 x 210 cm, Galerie Bernard Ceysson
Sol LeWitt – Untitled, 1966-1967, 1967, Painted steel, 70 x 210 cm, Galerie Bernard Ceysson

1970s

Sol LeWitt - 4 Cubes horizontal (series), 1974, painted wood, in 5 parts, 20.30 x 38.10 cm
Sol LeWitt – 4 Cubes horizontal (series), 1974, painted wood, in 5 parts, 20.30 x 38.10 cm

Sol LeWitt - Cube Structure Based On Five Modules (3 2 1 2 3), 1974, painted wood, 56.20 x 91.40 cm
Sol LeWitt – Cube Structure Based On Five Modules (3 2 1 2 3), 1974, painted wood, 56.20 x 91.40 cm

Sol LeWitt - Incomplete Open Cube (10-4), 1974, baked enamel on aluminum, 42 by 42 by 42 in. 106.7 by 106.7 by 106.7 cm
Sol LeWitt – Incomplete Open Cube (10-4), 1974, baked enamel on aluminum, 42 x 42 x 42 in., 106.7 x 106.7 x 106.7 cm

Sol LeWitt - Incomplete Open Cube No. 5-6, 1974
Sol LeWitt – Incomplete Open Cube No. 5-6, 1974

Sol LeWitt - Corner Piece No. 2, 1976, painted wood, 109.9 x 109.9 cm
Sol LeWitt – Corner Piece No. 2, 1976, painted wood, 109.9 x 109.9 cm

Sol LeWitt - Corner Piece 4, 1976, Painted Wood, 110.4 x 110.4 cm
Sol LeWitt – Corner Piece 4, 1976, Painted Wood, 110.4 x 110.4 cm

Sol LeWitt - 13/3
Sol LeWitt – 13/3, 1977

Sol Lewitt - Wall Structure B, 1978, Painted wood, 219.1 by 388.6 by 26.7 cm
Sol Lewitt – Wall Structure B, 1978, Painted wood, 219.1 by 388.6 by 26.7 cm

Sol LeWitt - Five Open Geometric Structures, Mahogany, 1979
Sol LeWitt – Five Open Geometric Structures, Mahogany, 1979

1980s

Sol LeWitt - Tower, 1984, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa, USA, photo Photo Piersbertrand
Sol LeWitt – Tower, 1984, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa, USA
Photo: Piersbertrand/newartexaminer.net

Sol Lewitt - 13/11, 1985, Wood and paint, 152.4 x 304.8 x 152.4 cm, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, USA 1
Sol Lewitt – 13/11, 1985, Wood and paint, 152.4 x 304.8 x 152.4 cm, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, USA

Sol Lewitt - 13/11, 1985, Wood and paint, 152.4 x 304.8 x 152.4 cm, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, USA 2
Sol Lewitt – 13/11, 1985, Wood and paint, 152.4 x 304.8 x 152.4 cm, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, USA

Sol LeWitt - Cube Without a Cube, 1986-88
Sol LeWitt – Cube Without a Cube, 1986-88

Sol LeWitt - Hanging Structure 28 B, 1989 white painted wood 133 1:2 x 10 x 67 in., 339.1 x 25.4 x 170.2 cm
Sol LeWitt – Hanging Structure 28 B, 1989 white painted wood, 133 1/2 x 10 x 67 in., 339.1 x 25.4 x 170.2 cm

1990s

Sol LeWitt - Three-sided Pyramid, 1991, baked enamel on aluminum, 195 x 204 cm
Sol LeWitt – Three-sided Pyramid, 1991, baked enamel on aluminum, 195 x 204 cm

Sol LeWitt - Flatback Pyramid, Maquette for Concrete Block Structure, 1996
Sol LeWitt – Flatback Pyramid, Maquette for Concrete Block Structure, 1996

Sol LeWitt - X with Columns, 1996, cinder block, concrete, 168 × 312 × 312 inches, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Sol LeWitt – X with Columns, 1996, cinder block, concrete, 168 × 312 × 312 inches, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Sol LeWitt - Double Pyramid, 1997, painted wood, 111.6 x 219cm
Sol LeWitt – Double Pyramid, 1997, painted wood, 111.6 x 219cm

Sol LeWitt - Negative Pyramid, 1997
Sol LeWitt – Negative Pyramid, 1997, Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Sol LeWitt - Fig 1 - Progressive sculpture, 1997
Sol LeWitt – Fig 1 – Progressive sculpture, 1997

Sol LeWitt - Pyramid (Keystone NZ), 1997, Standard concrete blocks, 7.75 x 16 x 16m, Gibbs Farm sculpture park, Makarau, New Zealand
Sol LeWitt – Pyramid (Keystone NZ), 1997, Standard concrete blocks, 7.75 x 16 x 16m, Gibbs Farm sculpture park, Makarau, New Zealand

Sol LeWitt - Pyramid (Keystone NZ), 1997, Standard concrete blocks, 7.75 x 16 x 16m, Gibbs Farm sculpture park, Makarau, New Zealand, with humans climbing sculpture
Sol LeWitt – Pyramid (Keystone NZ), 1997, Standard concrete blocks, 7.75 x 16 x 16m, Gibbs Farm sculpture park, Makarau, New Zealand

Sol LeWitt - Pyramid (Keystone NZ), 1997, Standard concrete blocks, 7.75 x 16 x 16m, Gibbs Farm sculpture park, Makarau, New Zealand, with sheep climbing sculpture
Sol LeWitt – Pyramid (Keystone NZ), 1997, Standard concrete blocks, 7.75 x 16 x 16m, Gibbs Farm sculpture park, Makarau, New Zealand

Sol Lewitt - Four-Sided Pyramid, 1999, first installation 1997, concrete blocks and mortar, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA 3
Sol Lewitt – Four-Sided Pyramid, 1999, first installation 1997, concrete blocks and mortar, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA


Sol LeWitt – Double Negative Pyramid, 1999, 5,6m high, 12 m wide, Europos Parkas, Joneikiškės, Lithuania
Photo: Arz/saatchigallery.com

Sol LeWitt - Double Negative Pyramid, 5,6m high, 12 m wide, Europos Parkas, Joneikiškės, Lithuania 2
Sol LeWitt – Double Negative Pyramid, 1999, 5,6m high, 12 m wide, Europos Parkas, Joneikiškės, Lithuania

Sol LeWitt - Double Negative Pyramid, 5,6m high, 12 m wide, Europos Parkas, Joneikiškės, Lithuania 3
Sol LeWitt – Double Negative Pyramid, 1999, 5,6m high, 12 m wide, Europos Parkas, Joneikiškės, Lithuania

2000s

Sol LeWitt - Splotch 15, Acrylic on fiberglass, 2005
Sol LeWitt – Splotch #15, Acrylic on fiberglass, 2005

Sol LeWitt - Splotch #22, 2007, Acrylic on fiberglass, 148 x 96 x 86 in, 375.92 x 243.84 x 218.44 cm
Sol LeWitt – Splotch #22, 2007, Acrylic on fiberglass, 148 x 96 x 86 in, 375.92 x 243.84 x 218.44 cm

All images by the Estate of Sol LeWitt/lewittcollection.org unless otherwise noted.

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