Public Invited to View Installation of Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing
LAWRENCE, KS, November 10, 2014 – During the next two weeks the newest addition to the Spencer Museum of Art’s collection will begin to take shape. This fall, the Spencer received a momentous donation of a Sol LeWitt wall drawing from international corporation Pitney Bowes Inc. “Wall Drawing 519” is a set of instructions for installing a large-scale work of art, which Spencer Museum staff will execute in collaboration with the Sol LeWitt Foundation.
LeWitt was a pioneer of minimalist and conceptual art and a key artist of the 1960s who continued to produce artwork until his death in 2007. His work—which included drawing, printmaking, painting, photography, and sculpture—made a clear departure from previous art movements that emphasized form and emotion and instead focused on concepts or ideas. LeWitt’s 1967 essay “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” describes this approach:
“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 a machine that makes the art.”
LeWitt’s work is included in the collections of prestigious institutions such as the National Gallery in Washington D.C., the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Modern in London. The gift of “Wall Drawing 519” strengthens the Spencer’s collection of conceptual and minimalist art, which includes LeWitt’s contemporaries James Turrell and Donald Judd. The gift also builds on a significant donation of 27 LeWitt works on paper in 2007 that were given by KU alumnus and master printer Antony O'Hara.
“The gift of ‘Wall Drawing 519’ brings a dynamic and highly important work of conceptual art into the Spencer’s collection,” Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy said. “Sharing the idea and precision of a LeWitt installation drawing provides a significant look at a great American master.”
LeWitt’s wall drawings incorporate seemingly simple line patterns and geometric designs created from precise instructions. Because LeWitt’s wall drawings emphasize the concept of the design over the physical result, an individual drawing could be installed in different locations using the same set of instructions to achieve a similar resulting work.
“Wall Drawing 519” will include a red square on a yellow background, a blue circle on a red background, and a yellow triangle on a blue background. The drawing will cover the back wall of Gallery 316. Installation will take place from Nov. 10 through Nov. 22. Visitors are welcome to watch the installation process during Museum hours.
Please direct image inquiries to Elizabeth Kanost, communications coordinator.