Sol LeWitt

10 Sep - 03 Nov 2007

"Scribble Wall Drawings"

NEW YORK, August 24, 2007—PaceWildenstein will present Sol LeWitt: Scribble Wall Drawings, an installation of eight new graphite wall drawings from 2006-2007 on view at 32 East 57th Street, New York City from Monday, September 10 through Saturday, November 3, 2007. Robert Storr has contributed an essay to the accompanying color catalogue, which will be available in October. Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) made wall drawings in various mediums and in international locations for nearly forty years. Sol LeWitt: Scribble Wall Drawings represents the last gallery exhibition he conceived and is LeWitt’s tenth exhibition with PaceWildenstein.

Earlier this year Sol LeWitt was selected to participate in Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind, Art in the Present Tense, the Italian Pavilion exhibition curated by Robert Storr, which is currently on view at the 52nd International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia through November 21, 2007. PaceWildenstein exhibited the work on view in Venice, Wall Drawing #1167 A Light to dark (Scribbles) and B Dark to light (Scribbles), in 2005. This year marks the fifth Venice Biennale to include LeWitt’s work following those of 1976, 1980, 1988, and 1997.

In addition to the Venice Biennale, the artist’s work has been on view in Sol LeWitt: Drawing Series, at Dia Beacon. The exhibition, closing in September 2008, features wall drawings from 1968 to 1975 personally selected by LeWitt.

In Fall 2008, wall drawings will be on view at MASS MoCA in a major collaborative project co-organized with the Yale University Art Gallery.

Sol LeWitt (b. Hartford, CT 1928 – d. New York, NY 2007) created his first wall drawing in 1968. His approach, working directly on the surface of a wall, allowed him to achieve his objective of reinforcing flatness and making a work as two-dimensional as possible. The radical transition from drawing on the surface of paper to drawing on a wall followed the publication, the prior year, of his “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” where he wrote, “When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes the machine that makes the art.” (Artforum, 1967)

Robert Storr, who included a 2005 wall drawing in Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind, Art in the Present Tense at the Venice Biennale, wrote in the catalogue: LeWitt “proved over and over again that the strict, systematic realisation of a singular working premise is bound to produce results that will surprise both the maker and the viewer by exceeding expectation and giving eye-and-mind-expanding physical dimensions to mental abstractions.”

Sol LeWitt has been the subject of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide since 1965. His prolific two and three-dimensional work ranges from Wall Drawings, to photographs, drawings, prints, books and extends to structures primarily in the form of towers, pyramids, geometric forms, and progressions. These works also include monumental outdoor pieces.

Sol LeWitt’s frequent use of open, modular structures originated from the cube, a form that influenced the artist’s thinking since the beginning of his career.

After receiving a B.F.A. from Syracuse University in 1949, Sol LeWitt traveled to Europe where he was exposed to Old Master painting. Shortly thereafter, he served in the Korean War.

Sol LeWitt moved to New York City in the 1950s and pursued his interest in design at Seventeen magazine, where he did paste-ups, mechanicals, and Photostats. Later, for one year, he was a graphic designer in the office of architect I.M. Pei. Around that time, LeWitt also discovered the photography of Eadweard Muybridge, whose late 1800s studies in sequence and locomotion were an early influence.

In 1960 LeWitt took an entry-level job at The Museum of Modern Art, in New York where is co-workers included fellow artists Dan Flavin, Robert Mangold, and Robert Ryman. Eighteen years later, LeWitt was given his own exhibition at MoMA, which was devoted to his modular and serial structures, framed drawings and wall drawings. The exhibition traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, California.

Other major exhibitions since included Sol LeWitt Drawings 1958-1992, which was organized by the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Netherlands in 1992 and traveled over the next three years to museums in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, and The United States; and in 1996, The Museum of Modern Art, New York mounted a traveling survey exhibition: Sol LeWitt Prints: 1970-1995.

In more recent years The Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford exhibited Sol LeWitt: Incomplete Open Cubes in 2001, which traveled to Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona. The same year P.S. 1 Contemporary Center, Long Island City presented Concrete Blocks.

In 2005 LeWitt was the subject of three solo exhibitions in New York City: Splotches, Whirls, and Twirls at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Sol LeWitt in Madison Square Park; and Sol LeWitt: Structures 1962-2003 at PaceWildenstein galleries on 57th Street and 25th Street.

In 1993 The Addison Gallery of American Art Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts presented Sol LeWitt: Twenty-Five Years of Wall Drawings, 1968-1993, a major, critically acclaimed survey that included forty-four wall drawings executed by the artist, his assistants, the Phillips Academy staff and students, and local artists.

Sol LeWitt’s most recent retrospective was organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2000. The exhibition traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Tags: Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Eadweard Muybridge, Robert Ryman