Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 1152
Whirls and twirls. (Met)
LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden
First Drawn By
Takeshi Arita, Sarah Heinemann, Gabriel Hurier, Chie Shimizu
MASS MoCA Building 7
Whirls and Twirls was created for the Iris B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Sol LeWitt designed the wall drawing to accompany a series of abstract three-dimensional forms called Splotches. The artist saw the curvilinear forms of both the structures and the drawings as complements to the undulating landscape of nearby Central Park, while the vivid colors provided a bold contrast with the gray tones of Manhattan’s skyline in the distance.
This wall drawing is based on Wall Drawing 1131, executed the previous year and also subtitled Whirls and Twirls, which LeWitt created for the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. The curving arches and brilliantly colored bands add an overwhelming vitality to the 1800-square feet of wall space surrounding a Beaux-Arts style marble staircase.
Whirls and Twirls is an example of LeWitt’s highly saturated colorful later works made in acrylic. While the forms are curvilinear, playful and seem almost random, they are drawn according to an exacting set of guidelines. The bands are a standard width, for example, and no colored section may touch another section of the same color.
To ensure that no two bands of the same color touch, the draftsmen color-coded the bands with post-it notes before applying paint to the wall. Despite the color-coding, a few squares of the same color ended up touching and had to be painted over.