A Bit About LeWitt
As an eagar and active artist Sol LeWitt (1928 – 2007) is known as one of the leading enthusiasts of Conceptual Art. Conceptualism moves a step forward from Minimalism by emphasising the idea or concept of the work, not the object. Conceptualism is quite fitting for LeWitt especially in the sense of his work incorporating repetition, sequence and system.
Sol LeWitt’s concept, broken down, consisted of lines, basic colors and simplified shapes that are installed on walls following instructions issued by him to assistants (executed by people other than the artist himself). The finished artwork is only legitimate if the instructions are followed step by step, not interpreted in different ways by the assistants. However, LeWitt himself observed that each individual “draws a line differently and understands words differently”. It is in the hand of the artist that makes works of art emotional. Isn’t art a form of expression anyway? Nevertheless LeWitt’s wall instructions are Conceptual Art and the idea is the most important aspect of the work. 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
LeWitt has famously explained his concept as “the idea becomes a machine that makes the art”. For LeWitt, the manual of how to create a work of art became the work itself; in his eyes, there was no need actually to create the art work in material for it to be an art work; the idea is enough.
LeWitt’s refined style of visual art installations consist of drawing directly onto the surface of the gallery, exploring the relationship between art and space to create an arrangement of patterns and lines, this way the idea of artist and artwork is radically reinvented and seriously challenges the artist as master craftsman that had essentially existed unchanged.
Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1136