Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sol Lewitt, 1928-2007

Wall Drawing #1042 (Isometric Form), 2002. Acrylic, 12' x 40.'

Wall Drawing #1100 (Concentric bands). 2004.

Bands of Equal Width of Color, 2000. Linocut, edition of 75, 30" x 30."

I'll always remember the first time I read LeWitt's "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art" in the June 1967 issue of Artforum, in which he wrote: "When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art." I read it about thirty years after he wrote it, but it was still a real eye-opener for me. It ran so counter to the way I thought about art-making. But despite this quintessentially cool approach, his work was always, at least in my eyes, highly emotional, poetic, and quite beautiful in the most traditional sense.

Here's his obit in the Times.