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Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective

A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
#46 / Photo: Kevin Kennefick; image is a detail
Info

Wall Drawing 46

Vertical lines, not straight, not touching, covering the wall evenly.
May 1970
Black pencil
LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut

First Installation

Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris

First Drawn By

Sol LeWitt

MASS MoCA Building 7
Ground Floor

This wall drawing is dedicated to sculptor Eva Hesse. Sol LeWitt and Hesse were close friends, and LeWitt credits Hesse’s aesthetic sensibilities with motivating his use of the ‘not straight’ line. This type of mark appears here for the first time, in the drawing originally executed two days after Hesse’s death. Subsequent drawings saw the use of not straight lines in four colors and in various combinations with straight lines, broken lines and arcs.

The drawing is often done by a single draftsman in order to achieve a consistency in line density and thickness. The process of drafting Wall Drawing 46 begins with stretching vertical plumb lines in string over the wall, to help the draftsman maintain the essential verticality of the lines. Then, the draftsman begins by making longer marks all over the wall, filling in the available spaces with shorter lines until the wall is evenly covered.

Backstory

Not explicitly involved with the retrospective, Jo Watanabe, Sol LeWitt’s long-time associate and the current director of the print shop for PaceWildenstein in New York, agreed to execute Wall Drawing 46 at MASS MoCA as a tribute to LeWitt. This wall drawing is often referred to as LeWitt’s favorite, and certainly connotes a personal significance to the artist in its dedication.

   
 
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