Archive: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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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