Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 792
Black rectangles and squares.
Courtesy of the Estate of Sol LeWitt
Ludwigsburger Schlossfestpiele, Ludwigsburg, Germany
First Drawn By
Alge Algermissen, Sabine Griesingen, Paul James Haworth, Hartmt Hengerer, Anthony Sansotta, Jogi Wegrzyn, Jeroen van der Velden, Miriam Wawrzihek
MASS MoCA Building 7
Applying horizontal and vertical white bands to a field of deep black, Sol LeWitt creates a composition of rectangles and squares in Wall Drawing 792. Throughout his career, LeWitt explored geometric forms – especially the square and the cube. LeWitt’s interest in these simple forms is often linked to the artist’s study of Russian Constructivism, De Stijl, and the German Bauhaus. Wall Drawing 792 is reminiscent of the stripped-down geometric abstractions of Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist paintings of black squares and Piet Mondrian’s grid compositions of vertical and horizontal lines.
The subtitle for Wall Drawing 792 is simply “Black rectangles and squares,” allowing the work to be translated and interpreted to fit within different structural parameters. First installed at the Schlossfestpiele in Ludwigsburger, Germany, in 1995, large black rectangles, primarily vertical in orientation, were painted directly onto the white gallery walls. The black rectangles filled the large domed bays in the space, emphasizing its unique architecture. A slightly different version of the piece, Wall Drawing 792B, was installed at the University of Michigan Art Museum the following year. There, open white squares appeared on a field of black, creating smaller and more numerous black rectangles. MASS MoCA presents yet another iteration of Wall Drawing 792 – exhibited on two rectangular walls, the shapes are smaller, creating a more complex grid.