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Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective

A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
#159 / Photo: John McAlister (Wall Drawing 159 is shown on a wall with Wall Drawing 154, Wall Drawing 160, and Wall Drawing 161. Wall Drawing 159 is located in the bottom right of the wall. )
Info

Wall Drawing 159

A black outlined square with a red diagonal line from the lower left corner toward the upper right corner; and another red line from the lower right corner to the upper left.
April 1973
Red and black crayon
Private Collection, Durham, North Carolina

First Installation

Museum of Modern Art, Oxford

First Drawn By

Sol LeWitt, Nicholas Logsdail

MASS MoCA Building 7
Ground Floor

This is the earliest example of Sol LeWitt’s ‘location drawings’ on view at MASS MoCA. In these location drawings, LeWitt uses written instructions to describe geometric constructions on the wall. Whereas earlier drawings began to explore the possibilities of combining four different line directions and four different colors, this series explores the various results achieved by drawing straight lines to and from nine easily defined points. Crafting his drafting instructions in terms of the corners of the square, the midpoints of each side, and the center, LeWitt sets the vocabulary of construction for subsequent location drawings, the instructions for which increase in complexity.

Backstory

The level of specific instruction in these location drawings completes a spectrum from very precise and explicit directions to almost completely open-ended and interpretive descriptions. All seven examples of this type of drawing on view in this exhibit were originally executed by Sol LeWitt himself. While his original solutions to the instructions provide a template for subsequent installations of these drawings, every installation provides the draftsman executing the wall drawing the opportunity to interpret the language for him or herself.

   
 
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