Sol Lewitt American, 1928-2007

Solomon "Sol" LeWitt was born in 1928 to a family of Jewish immigrants in Hartford, Connecticut. He received his BFA from Syracuse University in 1949. 

 

Regarded as a founder of both Minimal and Conceptual art, Lewitt first came to fame in the late 1960’s for his prolific work ranging from wall drawings, works on paper, to sculpture like “structures” in the form of towers, geometric forms, pyramids, and progressions. 

 

In 1968, LeWitt began to conceive sets of guidelines or simple diagrams for his two-dimensional works drawn directly on the wall, executed first in graphite, then in crayon, later in colored pencil and finally in chromatically rich washes of India ink, bright acrylic paint, and other materials.

 

Since he created a work of art for Paula Cooper Gallery's inaugural show in 1968, an exhibition to benefit the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, thousands of LeWitt's drawings have been installed directly on the surfaces of walls. Between 1969 and 1970 he created four "Drawings Series", which presented different combinations of the basic element that governed many of his early wall drawings.

 

Lewitt has been the subject of hundreds of solo exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world since 1965. According to a principle of his work, LeWitt's wall drawings are usually executed by people other than the artist himself. Even after his death, people are still making these drawings. He would therefore eventually use teams of assistants to create such works. Writing about making wall drawings, LeWitt himself observed in 1971 that "each person draws a line differently and each person understands words differently". Between 1968 and his death in 2007, LeWitt created more than 1,270 wall drawings.