Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 51
All architectural points connected by straight lines.
Blue snap lines
LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut
Sperone Gallery, Turin, Italy and Museo di Torino, Turin, Italy
First Drawn By
P. Giacchi, A. Giamasco, G. Mosca
MASS MoCA Building 7
Wall Drawing 51 was first installed in 1970 in Turin at both the Museo di Torino and the Sperone Gallery. Although on display simultaneously, the site-specific nature of this drawing means that each installation is a unique version of the work. The content of the work rests entirely on the pre-existing space and was an indication of Sol LeWitt’s interest in more directly engaging the architectural context of his work.
LeWitt’s instructions for Wall Drawing 51 dictate “All architectural points connected by straight lines.” Using the simplest and most technically precise means available, Wall Drawing 51 comprises hundreds of blue lines of varying length stretching from one architectural detail to another, including door frames, columns, fire alarms, etc. Employing a chalk snap line, a contractor’s tool that is used to create straight lines on flat surfaces, this drawing focuses the viewer’s attention on the architecture of the space. Each corner on the wall is connected to any and all surrounding points with a straight chalk line. These lines make a complex web of marks that move the eye back and forth across the wall, highlighting, for instance an electrical socket’s relationship to a door frame, an air duct’s relationship to an outlet.