Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 414
Drawing Series IV (A) with India ink washes. (24 Drawings.)
India ink wash
LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
First Drawn By
David Higginbotham, Jo Watanabe
MASS MoCA Building 7
In the early 1980’s Sol LeWitt began to use India ink and colored ink washes. The ink is applied with soft rags and dabbed onto the walls. The technique gives the works a fresco-like quality. LeWitt frequently applied the same systems he had used when working with pencil to the new medium. Wall Drawing 414 and the drawing located on the opposite wall, Wall Drawing 413, are both iterations of LeWitt’s Drawing Series IV. Between 1969 and 1970 LeWitt created four drawing series on paper. In each series he applied a different system of change to each of twenty-four possible combinations of a square divided into four equal parts, each containing one of the four basic types of lines LeWitt used. The result is four possible permutations for each of the twenty-four original units, which are presented in a grid of twenty-four sets of four squares, each divided into four equal parts. In Drawing Series IV, LeWitt used the ‘Cross Reverse’ method of change, in which the parts of each of the original units are crossed and reversed.
While Wall Drawing 413 illustrates the drawing series in color, Wall Drawing 414 illustrates the series in gray ink washes. The former wall drawing mimics a colored pencil iteration of the drawing series where the lines are simple, or unlayered. Wall Drawing 414, on the other hand, is based on a version of the drawing series where the artist superimposed the four types of lines on top of each other. Translated into ink, this process of layering lines becomes a process of layering many coats of ink wash. These layers produce four distinct gradations in gray tone.