Sol LeWitt: New Wall Drawings at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
An exhibition of new wall drawings by the leading American Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Sunday 27 May. ‘Sol LeWitt: New Wall Drawings’ is a characteristically vibrant and beautiful series of works, based on an open cube structure conceived in response to a suite of rooms at the Museum. The exhibition is part of an exciting and varied programme being organised by IMMA to mark its tenth anniversary at the end of May.
Sol LeWitt, has spent the past four decades creating artworks that explore the ideas behind the making of visual forms. From his early sculptures – or structures as he prefers to call them – to his wall drawings, LeWitt has transformed these ideas into abstract objects of exquisite beauty and elegance, deliberately introducing elements of change or irrationality into the systems that govern their creation. The new works at IMMA comprise 13 wall drawings, eleven in colour using specific combinations, such as orange and purple, green and blue, blue and red, yellow and grey, and two in black and white only.
Despite its visual splendour, LeWitt’s approach to the creation of his work is surprisingly simple and straightforward. He executed his first wall drawing in 1968, for a group show at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York. In a text published two years later he wrote: “I wanted to do a work of art that was as two-dimensional as possible…..It seems more natural to work directly on walls than to make a construction, to work on that, and then put the construction on the wall”. A pioneer of Minimalist and Conceptual art, LeWitt’s delicate balancing act between thought and form, order and disorder, has exerted an enormous influence on artists of subsequent generations. Today his wall drawings, structures and works on paper continue to astonish with their pared-down means and absolute intellectual clarity, resulting in works giving unabashed aesthetic pleasure.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1928, Sol LeWitt studied fine art at the University of Syracuse, and later at the University of Illinois. He was drafted into military service during the Korean War, after which he moved to New York. While continuing his painting practice, he also worked in an architect’s office and later at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He became part of a community of young artists and critics, including Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse and Lucy Lippard that as LeWitt wrote, were looking for a new direction “that would lead away form the pervasive but useless ideas of Abstract Expressionism”. He had his first solo exhibition in 1965 of sculptural works, or “Open Structures”. During the 1960s he wrote two seminal texts that helped to define the Conceptual art movement; ‘Paragraphs on Conceptual Art’, 1967. and ‘Sentences on Conceptual Art’, 1969. His long career has been celebrated through many major exhibitions, including the recent ‘Sol LeWitt: A Retrospective’, organised by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which travelled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. LeWitt continues to make temporary installations as well as permanent works, and his works are held in numerous museum collections and private collections worldwide.
A brochure documenting the installation at IMMA is available.
Sol LeWitt: New Wall Drawings continues until December 2001.
Admission is free.
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun, Bank Holidays 12 noon – 5.30pm
For further information and colour and black and white images please contact
Philomena Byrne or Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900,
Fax : +353 1 612 9999
8 May 2001
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