Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
A collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art
Wall Drawing 692
Continuous forms with color ink washes superimposed.
Color ink wash
Collection of Martin E. Zimmerman/LFC
First Drawn By
MASS MoCA Building 7
In the early 1990s Sol LeWitt created a series of wall drawings depicting ‘continuous forms.’ These forms represent a variation on the isometric cubes that the artist explored in his wall drawings of the previous decade. By repeatedly rotating the isometric forms, the artist created the planar facets that characterize the ‘continuous forms.’
Similar formal ideas can be seen in LeWitt’s three-dimensional works from the time. In fact, the ‘continuous forms’ are direct descendants of the drawings and sketches for LeWitt’s Complex Form structures. The artist nicknamed these wooden sculptures ‘icebergs’ because of their multifaceted shape and white color. Like the working drawings, the continuous forms possess a three-dimensional quality – the planes appear to jut out from the wall.
In many of the ‘continuous forms’ drawings, LeWitt employs grids to either organize or confuse the composition. In Wall Drawing 692 a regular square grid overlays the matrix of forms. Drawn over the colored planes, the grid reinforces the flatness of the wall’s surface.
In Wall Drawing 692, as in most of LeWitt’s ink wall drawings from this period, LeWitt instructs draftsmen to layer different combinations of the four ink colors (gray, yellow, blue, red), creating a variety of hues. The artist’s instructions exist in the form of combinations of letters (G,Y,B,R). In some of the ink works, these combinations are not systematic, but random – they depend on the artist’s intuition. Combinations of yellow and gray, blue and gray, and blue and red feature prominently in many of the drawings from this time, revealing LeWitt’s preference for the colors produced by those particular pairings.