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Sol Lewitt, X with Columns (1996)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
"What the work of art looks like isn't too important. It has to look like something, if it has physical form. No matter what form it may finally have, it must begin with an idea."--Sol LeWitt, 1967

Well known since 1960s for his sculptures, graphics, and wall drawings, Sol LeWitt has been a major force in the artistic movement known as Conceptualism. Concepts or ideas are the basic materials of LeWitt's art, which often exist as a set of detailed instructions. In "Conceptual Art," he explains, "the idea or concept 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." After the artist develops a concept, a team of artisans fabricate the artwork by following a specified plan. In X with Columns, as in a number of his other works, LeWitt uses geometric forms and neutral materials--cinder blocks and concrete. The artist says that he was attracted to this unlikely medium "because it was a totally 'non-art' one" with no historical associations. The low-tech masonry process lends itself to the basic geometric shapes he favors.

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Type: Commentary, curriculum resource
Source: Text for Sol Lewitt, X with Columns (1996), from the curriculum guide So, Why Is This Art?, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2002.
Rights: Copyright 2002 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009