Sol LeWitt - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 16, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    John Weber Gallery, New York
    Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    Chagny, Galerie Pietro Sparta & Pascal Petit, Au Fond de la Cour À Droite, May 1984

  • Literature

    S. Singer, ed., Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings 1984 - 1988, Bern: Kunsthalle Bern, 1989, p. 20

  • Catalogue Essay

    "I wanted to render form without space”
    Sol LeWitt

    As an innovator of conceptualism and minimalism, Sol LeWitt started with the basic modular cubes in order to strategically explore geometric systems and transform them into three-dimensional visual forms. He initiated his series of innovative “Wall Drawings” in 1968 when he drew upon the gallery wall of Paula Cooper’s exhibition space. Beginning in pencil, LeWitt transitioned to dazzling inks, his carefully chosen colorful washes layered to capture subtle depth within the fattened forms. As LeWitt commented, “One lesson learnt from the fresco painters of Italy’s Quattrocento was that they had a sense of surface, of fatness, where an actual linear perspective was not used but a system of isometric perspective that fattened the forms. I thought that was more powerful in terms of expression and adhered to the sensibility of the idea of the fatness of the wall and the integrity of the picture plane. I had always tried to keep the depth as shallow as possible and the integrity of the wall.” (Sol LeWitt; wall drawing allo Studio G7, Bolognia: Damiani Editore, 2006, p. 12)

    In the present lot, Wall Drawing 415, 1984, two identical modular forms sit side by side, one rendered in varying tonal grays and the other in primary colors: red, yellow and blue. By creating systematic plans in order for others to realize his wall drawings, LeWitt at once positioned himself as the composer and inventor of his drawings as well as a propagator of works that would be modified and completed by others; as he remarks: “The contribution brought by the draughtsman may not be predicated by the artist, even when the artist is the draughtsman…Nobody can do the same thing twice.” (Sol LeWitt; wall drawing allo Studio G7, Bolognia: Damiani editore, 2006, p. 15) By meticulously choreographing the plans for his wall drawings, LeWitt’s simplistic shapes and primary colors create a methodical, geometric arrangement that demonstrates both the reductive and productive processes of artistic invention and execution.

  • Artist Biography

    Sol LeWitt

    American • 1928 - 2007

    Connected to the Conceptual and Minimalist art movements of the 1960s and '70s, the artist and theorist Sol LeWitt was a pivotal figure in driving 'idea' art into the mainstream art discourse. Redefining what constituted a work of art and its genesis, LeWitt explored these ideas through wall drawings, paintings, sculptures, works on paper and prints.

    Using a prescription to direct the creation of a work, the artist's hand subordinated to the artist's thoughts, in direct contrast to the Abstract Expressionist movement earlier in the century. Actions, forms and adjectives were broken down into terms, serially repeated and reconfigured: grids, lines, shapes, color, directions and starting points are several examples. These directives and constructs fueled an influential career of vast variety, subtlety and progression.

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Wall Drawing 415B

india ink wash
dimensions variable
First drawn by Benoit Bidault Boone, Pascale Petit, Anthony Sansotta and Pietro Sparta.
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and diagram signed by the artist.

$180,000 - 220,000 

Sold for $209,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 16 May 2014 11am