Archive: Sol Lewitt
Five decades of Sol LeWitt’s famous sculptures

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.

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Sol LeWitt’s influential drawings on walls around the world

Sol LeWitt’s influential drawings on walls around the world

Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1136
Sol LeWitt – Wall Drawing #1136

1,3500 Wall Drawings in four decades

Over the course of his prolific, influential career, Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) produced approximately 1,350 wall drawings, comprising approximately 3,500 installations at more than 1,200 venues.

Why did Sol LeWitt let others paint his ideas?

Early in his career, Sol LeWitt began to have others help execute his wall drawings. Wall Drawing 16 was first drawn by a draftsman, which helped LeWitt to realize his work according to his instructions and diagrams, addressing practical concerns such as the time-consuming nature of the drawings. More significantly, however, this choice articulated LeWitt’s belief that the conception of the idea, rather than its execution, constitutes the artwork. He was also rejecting the traditional importance assigned to the artist’s own hand. The artist executed the earliest wall drawings within a square, usually four by four feet wide, but by 1969 he was using the entire wall, starting with Wall Drawing 16.

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