Sunday, September 30, 2012

Research: Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt was a Fine Artist who started his career in New York in the 1950's. His main choice of medium was painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. His genre was labeled or focused around Conceptualism and Minimalism. A huge amount of his work dedicated to Wall drawing...with the other huge amount being devoted to sculpture or as he referred to it, "structures".  He was very interested in linearness, color, structure and modulation of forms. Below are some examples of his Wall drawings and Modular "structures".

Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings-

Sol LeWitt-Wall Drawing #260-Chalk on painted wall
I really like this wall drawing by Sol LeWitt. In my research of him, it mentioned that he was very into Modules and systems. This definately feels very systematic and structured. I love structure and having a plan within design and art. In my daily work I am always reinforcing the importance of consistancy and to maintain the structure of the books(maintaining style guide rules, making sure text cross aligns, etc...).

Sol LeWitt-Wall Drawing #681 C
This set of wall drawings are similiar to the ones created at Mass Moca. It was interesting to find out that most of his wall drawings have been created by other artists and not by his own hand. It's said that he would create the "recipe" for the drawings and let the artist or whoever create them based on his instructions. The only stipulation was that they be erased. This way he would deprive collector's, gallery owners, curators works by his own hands. He said there would be nothing to store, ship, insure or bid on. He would though create a signed certificate of authenticity that the project existed.

Sol LeWitt-Wall Drawing #684A
Here are some quotes/descriptions I found describing LeWitt's wall drawings: Peter Schjeldahl(an
Art Critic) has been quoted as saying, "LeWitt’s work is “clear, accessible, and generous… . He structures large understandings of perception and thought… . His wall drawings belong in a hall of fame for parsimonious, incredibly potent inventions, like the lever and the wheel… . His art belongs directly to the viewer.”

Also, from David Littlejohn, explained the wall drawings in this way: “By way of curt, gnomic verbal recipes for arrangements of repeated lines and geometrical shapes, LeWitt tried to remove from his creations all traces of narration, pictorialism or personal emotion."

I like how it is described as belonging directly to the definately has a quality of not being constructed and there was no artist involved in it's creation. It's as if it always was there and always existed. Reading into this a bit, I think it could be because of the colors that are very natural and found in everyday life. We're surrounded by these colors and have been our whole there is a sense of belonging to the viewer.

I also agree with the second statement of the drawings being removed from all traces of narration, pictorialism or personal emotion. The really do just exist. I also think the use of so many colors together on some of the drawings have this effect of not pigeon holing you into a specific emotion or feeling. There are so many colors together that they almost cancel each other out leaving you neutral.

Sol LeWitt Structures-

Sol LeWitt-Geometric Structure 2-2, Painted Wood
Sol LeWitt liked to refer to his sculptures or three-dimensional work as "Structures". He was obsessed with the Cube as a young boy and it is a recurring element in his work throughout his career. He started by having inclosed cube forms with none of the internal structure showing but shifted his work to start showing the internal structure of the cubes. In addition to the Cube, he would use other open structured modular pieces to create a variety of different cube like structures. In addition to wood, he also used cinder blocks and cement as mediums for his work.

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