WORK OF THE WEEK | SOL LEWITT | Study for Wall Drawing 1081, 2001
It is our pleasure to highlight a drawing by Sol LeWitt as our Work of the Week.
Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) was a renowned minimal and conceptual artist. Best known for his wall drawings, which he conceived throughout his career, LeWitt transcended the material formulation of art with these architectural scale works.
While the first works of this important series were executed in pencil directly applied to the wall, the “drawings” later became more elaborate with colorful geometric and amorphous shapes. LeWitt always limited his artistic contribution to the conceptualization and instruction of the wall drawing, allowing collaborators to execute the work according to his intentions. These instructions always left some room for interpretation, making each installation of the wall drawing site-specific and unique.
MASS MoCA in Massachusetts has dedicated a permanent retrospective to LeWitt’s wall drawings showing 105 large drawings, among them Drawing 1081, which our work is a study for.
The procession of rectangles and trapezoids create a sense of space, movement, and an illusion of perspective, expressing the influence of Eadweard Muybridge, the pioneer of capturing movement in photography. Whereas the letters delineate the succession of primary and secondary colors, in the final wall drawing, executed two years after this study, the composition is rotated 90 degrees. Although the wall drawing with its vibrant colors seems very playful and driven by aesthetic considerations, our drawing illuminates the underlying rules and artistic strictures which are so important for LeWitt’s work.
This study allows an insight into the artistic methodology of LeWitt’s important wall drawings, and concisely captures the artist’s emphasis of idea over execution. While simple at first, it elegantly reveals the complex structures that have always guided LeWitt’s work.
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SOL LEWITT | STUDY FOR WALL DRAWING 1081, 2001
ABOUT THE WORK
(Hartford, CT 1928 – 2007 New York)
Study for Wall Drawing 1081, 2001
Pencil on paper
50.1 x 45.6 cm
Signed lower right: S LeWitt
Inscribed on verso „012083“
This work is registered by the Sol Lewitt Estate in the database as Number 012083.
The drawing is closely related to Wall Drawing Nr. 1081 executed in 2003 and property of the Yale University Art Gallery.
Please see: https://massmoca.org/event/walldrawing1081/