3rd Floor

Sol LeWitt

 – , 2020


Pace Prints is pleased to present an exhibition of prints and sculpture by Sol LeWitt, January 22 – February 22, 2020, at its 32 East 57th Street gallery.  The exhibition will feature a portfolio of 30 prints entitled Open Cube on Color in Color (2003) and a sculpture from 1979 entitled Five Open Geometric Structures.  This show highlights the serial nature of LeWitt’s ideas and their execution in two forms.

Serial systems and their permutations function as a narrative that has to be understood. People still see things as visual objects without understanding what they are. They don’t understand that the visual part may be boring but it’s the narrative that’s interesting. It can be read as a story, just as music can be heard as form in time.  The narrative of serial art works more like music than like literature. (LeWitt in Bomb Magazine, 2003)

Five Open Geometric Structures exemplifies the artist’s practice, in which the open geometric form becomes the starting place for all three-dimensional form.  Five open forms sit on a base, their structure easily accessible to the viewer’s eye.  Rather than “conceptual” or “minimal”, the artist preferred that his work be considered “serial” and rather than sculpture his three-dimensional work would be called “structure”.  This grouping of structures on a plinth calls to mind traditional sculptural presentation, while also echoing the tenets of what was then a new minimalist ideal in stark white and pure, rational form.

Open Cube on Color in Color (2003) uses the theme of the cube and cycles through all combinations of the primary colors plus gray.  For LeWitt, variation in color became a way to express finite seriality by combining colors in every permutation to make all combinations.  As LeWitt stated, there is a narrative to the serial nature of this work.  Using the cube as the central form, the color shifts to reveal the narrative. Like music, Open Cube on Color in Color can be seen as “form in time”. Whether in structure or color, the serial nature of LeWitt’s work is central to its creation.

Sol LeWitt (born 1928, Hartford, CT; died 2007, New York, NY) was a leading figure of Minimalism and a pioneer of Conceptual art. Redefining art production by exploring ideas rather than conventional aesthetics, he distilled art to its essentials. LeWitt’s work is characterized by serialization, repetition, and progression, exemplified by his iconic open-grid structures. Studying systems of line and color, his prolific output of wall drawings represents a breakthrough in his career and solidifies his engagement with two-dimensional practices spanning painting, drawing, photography, and printmaking. LeWitt has been the subject of numerous one-artist exhibitions and his work is held in public collections worldwide. In 2008, MASS MoCA opened Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, which will remain on view through 2033.

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