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Wall Drawing 583H&F

  • Sol LeWitt

  • Sol LeWitt

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.

December 1988

Color ink wash

Courtesy of the Estate of Sol LeWitt (583F is Designated for Yale University Art Gallery)

First Installation
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
Second Floor

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.