Sol LeWitt’s Instruction for Wondrous Walls


One of our practices is to look at artists’ work carefully to see what ideas we can steal apply in/on our own lives/walls/spaces. We take the do-able kernel and make it our own. Last June, we reported a trove we found at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art.

Our big find was conceptual artist Sol LeWitt’s beautiful conceptual wall drawings and paintings. LeWitt believed that the artist was a generator of ideas, that the idea itself could be the work of art. LeWitt’s created “instructions” which became the works themselves. According to The Art Story, LeWitt thought:

Like an architect who creates a blueprint for a building and then turns the project over to a construction crew, an artist should be able to conceive of a work and then either delegate its actual production to others or perhaps even never make it at all.

Some of LeWitt’s “instructions” were relatively simple:

lewitt instructions-1

Eric Doeringer followed LeWitt’s instruction for Wall Drawing 104 to make his own version of “10,000 random straight lines about four inches long.” The resulting wall is pretty beautiful…The time-lapse video above shows the execution of a similar one, #960 (Video link here).

Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing 104 Executed by Eric Doeringer

Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing 104 Executed by Eric Doeringer

Why not follow LeWitt’s instruction in our own space — or at least riff on them — to make a wall as wonderful?

The massive LeWitt we saw at the Carnegie Museum yielded many ideas…

LeWitt wall painting 450 Carnegie Museum 1

…When we looked close, we could see that the color blocks had been carefully masked with tape and created by building up washes of colors:

LeWitt wall painting 450 dtl Carnegie Museum 2

We got an idea of what it involved by watching the first 36 or so seconds of this video (link here.) of a LeWitt being installed at the Yale School of Management.

You can check out a wide range of LeWitt’s wall drawings here; some have time-lapse video of their recreation. They yield a trove of brillinat LeWitt ideas to follow, borrow, steal, appropriate, be inspired from.

 

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