"Conceptual Artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach." —Sol LeWitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art
"I don't want to deal with ideas too complex for me to figure out myself." —Sol LeWitt
Sol LeWitt was one of the pioneering figures in both the Conceptual and Minimalist art movements of the 1960s and '70s. Whether working as a painter, draftsman, photographer, printmaker, or sculptor, LeWitt conceived works of art that were fundamentally geometric and architectonic, and relied on the cube as a starting point for his explorations of space, time, form, volume, repetition, sequence, and variation.
In the 1980s one sees the rigor of his geometric systems relax and in the 1990s an openness to softening or expanding the idea of what geometric form can be. LeWitt begins offering us "continuous forms," lilting lines with curves and irregularities along with his singular forms, straight lines and right angles. Influenced by spending some of his later years in Italy, LeWitt incorporates the color palette of Italian frescoes (wall paintings)—blues, reds, golds—into his work.
LeWitt also collaborated across disciplines working with musicians and dancers, exemplified in a work such as Lucinda Childs' Dance, an excerpt of which you'll see in this Set.
Use this Set as an introduction to your visit to the Walker Art Center to see Sol LeWitt: 2D+3D on view from November 18, 2010–April 24, 2011, or to introduce your students to conceptual or minimal art, approaches to sculpture and drawing, and engaging with an artist's process through his own words. Have a student read each quote and discuss what they think it means, how it relates to LeWitt's art or art-making in general, and whether they would've chosen similar words to describe what they're seeing. There are no right or wrong answers.
This Set is intended for a middle school to adult audience; however, K-5 educators could copy this Set and pare it down to serve a younger audience.
Feel free to make this Set your own. As a registered user of ArtsConnectEd you can duplicate any published Art Collector Set to your own account. Once a Set is duplicated you can edit the Set and its slides. Click here to learn more about duplicating a published Set.