Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #370 Installed at Met This Summer

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • June 12, 2014

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Detail of Wall Drawing #370 by Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt’s 1982 Wall Drawing #370: Ten Geometric Figures (including right triangle, cross, X, diamond) with three-inch parallel bands of lines in two directions will be installed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this summer. Over a period of four weeks, five drafters will prepare the 10 geometric figures set within squares that comprise the work. The drawing will be on view in its complete state beginning June 30, 2014, and will remain on view through September 7, 2015, when it will be painted over.

The loan of Wall Drawing #370 is Courtesy of The Estate of Sol LeWitt. The installation is made possible by The Modern Circle.

Although LeWitt executed drawings by hand throughout his life, in 1968 he extricated his work from the confines of the frame and transferred it directly to the wall. The wall compositions were designed for limited duration and maximum flexibility within a broad range of architectural settings. Painstakingly executed by drafters, most of these works were eventually destroyed. A seminal practitioner of Conceptual Art, LeWitt emphasized the creative idea that generates a work of art, as opposed to the work’s material existence. “For each work of art that becomes physical,” he wrote, “there are many variations that do not.”

His radical notions about art as immaterial and impermanent have helped to alter our expectations of art as well as our ideas about what art is and the forms it does or does not take. He has made wall drawings in a variety of media—from ethereal, grid-based compositions in graphite and colored pencil to bold undulations in acrylic paint—and sculptures that include open, modular structures in wood or metal; concrete block constructions on a monumental scale; and brilliantly colored fiberglass forms.

On display across from Wall Drawing #370 will be LeWitt’s Composite Series (1970)—a group of five silkscreens that are among the first abstract prints made by the artist. The prints are based on his early ink drawings and plans for wall drawings. Within a square format, the artist deployed his basic formal vocabulary of straight lines in four directions—horizontal, vertical, and opposing diagonals—and in the three primary colors plus black. Once introduced, these elements are subdivided within the square and superimposed in a rational progression to create delicate and increasingly complex linear networks. The final silkscreen in the Composite Series logically summarizes the previous four with all possible line and color combinations.

June 30, 2014–September 7, 2015
Installation Location: Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, first floor, Gallery 399

Tags: American art

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