Sol LeWitt – Five decades of his famous sculptures

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

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

Published: December 5, 2017

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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

2 min 42 sec
Sol LeWitt and curator Gary Garrels of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art discuss LeWitt’s installation Incomplete Open Cubes, 1974.

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 - 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, installation view, 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, photo: Sotheby’s

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, photo: Sotheby’s

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

Sol LeWitt – Incomplete Open Cube No. 5-6, 1974, paint on aluminium, 108 x 108 x 108 cm (42.5 x (42.5 x 42.5 in)

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, photo: Sotheby’s

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, photo: Sotheby’s

1980s
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, 339.1 x 25.4 x 170.2 cm (133 1/2 x 10 x 67 in.), photo: Phillips

1990s
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 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

2000s
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, 375.92 x 243.84 x 218.44 cm (148 x 96 x 86 in), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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

 

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