Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 1260
Scribble: Square without a square.
LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut
MASS MoCA , North Adams, MA
First Drawn By
Takeshi Arita, Jennifer Chian, Aran Jones, Michael Benjamin Vedder
MASS MoCA Building 7
Wall Drawing 1260 is one of two drawings in the retrospective that have been installed for the first time at MASS MoCA. The drawing is part of a series, begun by Sol LeWitt in 2005, in which the draftsmen apply graphite to the walls using a scribbling technique. The scribbling occurs at six different densities, which are indicated on the artist’s diagrams and then mapped out in string on the surface of the wall. The gradations of scribble density produce a continuum of tone that implies three dimensions. The square without a square form, in its shape and sheen, resembles a metallic pipe. This hint at illusionism, however, is contradicted at the edges of the square: the densest and darkest scribble zone borders the absolute white of the wall, exposing the flatness of the drawing in relation to its support.
Many critics see the scribble drawings, the last wall drawings of LeWitt’s career, as possessing significance beyond LeWitt’s stated interests. The gradations seem to toy with ideas of recession and infinite space, while the extremes between bright white and the dark pencil lines can be read as meditations on absolutes. In the end, however, these readings are resisted by others. For example, Robert Storr places these late wall drawings in relation to their predecessors: “…these last drawings…issue from the same source as all that came before, anticipating nothing, but instead embodying a state of simultaneous presence and absence, immediacy and immanence, physicality and indeterminacy.”1
1‘Darkness Tangible.’ Robert Storr. Sol LeWitt: Scribble Wall Drawings. Pace Wildenstein. New York; 2007.