Sol LeWitt - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 3, 2018 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Fernand Spillemaeckers, Brussels
    Thence by descent to the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Brussels, MTL Gallery, Sol LeWitt, 1972
    Ghent, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Citadelpark, long-term loan

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘An architect doesn't go off with a shovel and dig his foundation and lay every brick. He's still an artist.’ – Sol LeWitt

    Pioneer of minimal and conceptual art, Sol LeWitt’s abstract and architectural oeuvre is governed by the artist’s lifelong commitment to a fundamentally geometric vocabulary. Using formulas, patterns, ratio, geometric solids and lines to create his structures and wall drawings, the artist, inspired by his time working in an architect’s office, roots his works within their surroundings. From wall drawings to his three-dimensional structures such as the present work, the artist allows environment to assume a critical role in the perception of his work. Previously housed in the collection of Fernand Spillemaeckers, founder of European MTL Gallery, Brussels, the pioneering space for minimal and conceptual art, and loaned to Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Citadelpark, Ghent, the present work is a considered and early example from LeWitt’s architectural oeuvre.

    The present work, a pillar composed of regulated cubic metal straits, holds a discernable rhythmic quality; symmetry lies at the heart of the structure through the repetitive grid like motif. Throughout his prolific career, LeWitt’s artistic output evolved through varied mediums, the cube however appears at every juncture, from sculpture to photography.

    Whilst the artist’s wall drawings have garnered him widespread recognition, it is his sculptural works that form the origins of his practice. The artist’s first solo exhibition, held at Daniels Gallery in New York in 1965, comprised five sculptures, rectangular black wooden forms such as Floor Structure and Wall Structure, all of which can be considered geometric predecessors to the present work, underlining the artist’s lifelong commitment to geometry and architecture.

    Formulating the principles of the budding conceptual art movement in the 1960s, LeWitt’s essay ‘Paragraphs on Conceptual Art’ asserted that the concepts and notions behind a work of art surpass its physical execution. Likening his role as an artist to the systematic practice of that of an architect or composer, LeWitt often composed instructions or drafts of works that others could realise. The present work, in its systematic and sensitive regard for architectural framework, is a testament to the freedom that LeWitt found within self-imposed limitations of his practice.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Cube Structure Based on Five Modules

painted steel
92 x 92 x 92 cm (36 1/4 x 36 1/4 x 36 1/4 in.)
Executed circa 1971, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from The Estate of Sol Lewitt.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £150,000

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 4 October 2018