Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sol LeWitt at Dia:Beacon

Wall Drawing #273: Lines to Points on a Grid

Sol LeWitt died earlier this month, and I somehow missed reading about it. And it saddens me as much, possibly more, than the death of Kurt Vonnegut. LeWitt was identified as a Minimalist, but that label really does an injustice to him, and his work.

I wish I could go to see this exhibit. I wish I could have participated in making the drawings. That was part of LeWitt's genius: his drawings were/are always made by other people based upon his written instructions. He teased. The instructions for Wall Drawing #273 are simple: Lines to Points on a Grid. No message as to how many lines, or how many points. No instructions as to the length of the lines, or the thickness. So if I were to make this drawing on one of the walls in my home, it would look quite different from the above image. But it would be connected to it as surely as if Mr. LeWitt were standing next to me telling me what to do.

LeWitt's wall paintings are both ephemeral and permanently linked to our past. His use of the wall harkens back to the earliest known cave paintings. Yet when the exhibit ends, the drawings will be painted over to make way for the next exhibit. They will no longer exist in the Dia:Beacon gallery. He understood humor, and resistance. To the comment "that's so easy a child could do it," he said yes, and made work available to several public schools in New York. Those drawings were made by children. He felt art was inaccessible due to high prices, so in the 70s he did a series of drawings (instructions) which he sold for about $10. Each.

Sol LeWitt died April 8, 2007. He was a mystic.

cross posted at The Fat Lady Sings


Pursey Tuttweiler said...

What a beautiful eulogy, Diva. I do not know of Sol LeWitt but I will read up on him.

I hope you are feeling better. Let me know when you are ready for a call.

Peacechick Mary said...

He was a that sentence says a lot. I didn't know of his work, either, but I'll check it out. Hope you are doing well and are comfortable.

robin andrea said...

Nice tribute, divajood. I hadn't heard of this artist before, so I will go and look and think of him. I wish there were more mystics and fewer misfits.

Coffee Messiah said...

Thanks for the introduction as I too have never been aware of him.

DivaJood said...

Pursey, he was a terrific artist.

PC Mary, I've decided he was a mystic, not him. But his work sings by itself.

Robin Andrea, I agree - more mystics and fewer misfits indeed.

Coffee Messiah, glad to be of service.