Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 821A
A white square divided horizontally and vertically into four equal parts, each with a different direction of alternating flat and glossy bands.
LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut
Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
First Drawn By
MASS MoCA Building 7
Wall Drawing 821A was created for “Pure”, an exhibit of works that conceptually and formally investigate the color white. By alternating flat and glossy bands of white acrylic paint, Sol LeWitt subtly explored different qualities of the color.
The wall drawing is a modification of Wall Drawing 821, which depicts the same pattern, but in black paint. Wall Drawing 821 was created for a 1997 exhibit at Ace Gallery in which LeWitt debuted wall drawings done in paint. All of the wall drawings in this exhibit were monochrome and in many LeWitt explored different textures of paint through the use of varnish. Wall Drawing 821 is also on view at MASS MoCA.
LeWitt’s wall drawings are impermanent by design—they can be executed and then easily painted over and executed at another location. At MASS MoCA, however, the wall drawings will be on display for a twenty-five year period. Therefore the execution of some of the drawings, including Wall Drawing 821A, has to be slightly altered in order to ensure that the drawing will endure the long display period. In previous locations the draftsmen executing Wall Drawing 821A have painted the entire surface of the wall drawing with matte white paint and then applied glossy varnish to the designated bands. However, at MASS MoCA, both the matte and glossy bands must be varnished to prevent the fading of the white paint. Thus the draftsmen must first paint and varnish the matte bands, and then tape over them and paint and varnish the glossy bands.