Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 238
The location of a parallelogram.
Black pencil and black crayon
LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut
Galleria Sperone, Turin
First Drawn By
MASS MoCA Building 7
This wall drawing, like The location of a trapezoid, is an example of the location drawing series in which Sol LeWitt explores possible relationships between textual description and physical drafting. The text that directs the construction appears on the wall beside the figure, displaying both the puzzle and the solution worked out by the draftsman.
The juxtaposition of text and image has garnered comparison between LeWitt’s location drawings and the concrete poetry that emerged in Europe and South America in the 1950’s. This poetic practice was involved with attempting to convey more immediate messages by transforming the written word into shapes that reflected meaning or structure, thereby transposing the written artwork into a more visual artwork. Sol LeWitt’s interest in the relationship between text and image is, conversely, an expression of his valuation of the idea over the object. The presence of the text in these location drawings imbues the physical wall drawing with a verbal, or less physical, quality that moves it into the realm of the conceptual rather than into the realm of the actualized.
The solution, the final wall drawing, is a product of ‘figuring out’ both mentally and physically, an exercise both in geometry and in artistry. The interaction between textual instruction and physical drawing is so like a puzzle that has to be worked out that draftsmen practice the constructions of the figures on paper, scaled to the dimensions of the wall.