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Wall Drawing 821

  • Sol LeWitt

  • Sol LeWitt

A black square divided horizontally and vertically into four equal parts, each with a different direction of alternating flat and glossy bands.

April 1997

Acrylic paint

The Art Institute of Chicago, Through prior gifts of Judith Neisser and Mary and Leigh Block; Norman Waite Harris Purchase Fund, 2006.168

First Installation
Ace Gallery, New York

First Drawn By
Artistides Dé Leon, Sachiko Cho, Derek Edwards, Naomi Fox, Henry Levine, Sunhee Lim, Jason Livingston, Emil Memon, Travis Molkenbur, Caroline Rothwell

MASS MoCA Building 7
Third Floor

Wall Drawing 821 was created for an exhibit of new work by Sol LeWitt at the Ace Gallery in 1997. This exhibit marked the first time that LeWitt executed wall drawings in paint. Like Wall Drawing 821, all of the drawings in this exhibit were monochrome, and in many LeWitt used varnish to create variations in the surface of the paint.

While the medium used to create Wall Drawing 821 represents a major departure from past wall drawings, the formal content of the work is a continuation of previous ideas. In the drawing LeWitt continued his exploration of lines going in the four basic directions — vertical, horizontal, diagonal left, and diagonal right. This exploration began in the late 1960s in his early drawing series and first wall drawings (which featured different combinations of the four basic types of lines) and continued into LeWitt’’s ink wall drawings of the 1980s and early 1990s, in which LeWitt began to use wider bands instead of lines.

Wall Drawing 821, like many of LeWitt’’s earliest painted wall drawings, was originally executed in latex paint. At MASS MoCA, however, the wall drawing is in acrylic, which the LeWitt studio now uses for all painted wall drawings.