Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
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Photo: Hallie Scott (Wall Drawing 583H & F is displayed on the same wall as Wall Drawing 584H. Wall Drawing 583 H is located on the left third of the wall and Wall Drawing 583F is located on the right third of the wall.)
Wall Drawing 583H&F
Rectangles, with color ink washes superimposed. Each is bordered by a 10-inch (25 cm) band with color ink washes superimposed, a ½-inch (1¼ cm) white band, and a 4-inch (10 cm) black band.
Color ink wash
Courtesy of the Estate of Sol LeWitt (583F is Designated for Yale University Art Gallery)
Des Moines Art Center
First Drawn By
Connie Butler, Douglas Geiger, Paul Mankins, Tory Pomeroy, Anthony Sansotta, Rebecca Schwab, Janice Shotwell, Michael Willoughby
MASS MoCA Building 7
Wall Drawing 583 was originally composed of over twenty segments, of which MASS MoCA presents two – F and H. These two parts are depicted on the same wall flanking another, related work, Wall Drawing 584H, which was first created only a month later.
Josef Albers’ minimalist compositions from the 1950s and 1960s, which explored color theory, influenced Sol LeWitt’s own artistic practice. During this time, LeWitt created wall structures in which colors and forms retreat or progress from a frontal plane. These early wall structures were painted on canvas and wood, and framed. Wall Drawing 583 recalls LeWitt’s early sculptural work. A half-inch white outline traces the perimeter of the drawing, which is in turn framed by a wider, four-inch black band. The framing of the interior squares allows the colors to pop.
Reminiscent of Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square paintings from the 1950s and 1960s, LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 583 employs this simple geometric form to explore the illusory effects of color on the two-dimensional plane. Like Albers, LeWitt placed squares inside of squares to investigate color interaction; the adjoining colors have the potential to recede or advance, expand or contract. In 2005, LeWitt further explored Albers’ ideas when he created Seven Basic Colors and All Their Combinations in a Square within a Square: Wall Drawing for Josef Albers (Wall Drawing 1176), in homage to the artist and his theories on color.