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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist; Galerie Sabine Wachters, Knokke-le-Zoute

  • Catalogue Essay

    “The form itself is of very limited significance; it becomes the grammar of the whole work.” (Sol Lewitt taken from U. Grosenick, ed. Minimal Art, Cologne, 2004, p. 64)

    Based on a predetermined principles and criteria Sol LeWitt’s complex geometrical and mathematical systems are physically manifested across multiple mediums in a variety of permutations. Despite outward appearances of following a highly ordered and logical codified systematic process, LeWitt’s concepts are often rooted in the illogical. According to the artist this is not a contradiction and he states,
    “Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically” (ibid, p.64). LeWitt considers the process; the planning and sequential scheme the work itself, thus its material execution, is not a necessary act and could be realized by anyone according to the artist’s specifications. The object is secondary to its generative concept.” (ibid, p. 64)

    Beginning in 1963 Sol LeWitt began to construct modular structures primarily based upon a system derived from the cube; a structure that he considered the “most unemotional form” that only referred to itself. His opting for the cube as the rubric for his visual system was also due in part to his wish to exclude any emotionality in the works or hierarchical order; uniform equality for the whole as well as its parts. Typically arranged in some variation of a grid his works are arranged in simple closed systems, “unequivocal combinations” where every conceivable variation on a specific theme is employed.

    The present lot, Untitled, 1972, is the embodiment of these precise concepts. Although situated atop a pedestal, the work does not occupy a fixed space. The pyramidal open structure of the stark white wooden forms breaks free of its pedestal; at once encroaching upon the viewers’ space and drawing them into its own. “LeWitt’s white framework adopts a geometric system of coordinates which exists in the viewer’s own space, thus representing a conscious decision to maintain a direct relationship to the public realm: the viewer is intended to be aware of his own self during the act of perception”. (ibid, p. 64) The white surface of the basic frame acts concomitantly as both the point of departure and return on this visual experience.

  • 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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Painted wood structure on wood base.
Sculpture 19 5/8 x 33 3/4 x 33 3/4 in. (49.8 x 85/7 x 85/7 cm); Base 20 7/8 x 33 7/8 x 33 7/8 in. (53 x 86 x 86 cm).

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $307,200

Contemporary Art Part I

16 Nov 2006, 7pm
New York