Solomon "Sol" LeWitt was born in 1928. An American sculptor, draughtsman, lithographer and etcher, he was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He studied at Syracuse University, New York from 1945-9. After having abandoned painting in 1962, he began to experiment with abstract black and white reliefs, followed in 1963 by relief constructions with nested enclosures projecting into space, and box- and table-like constructions.
From 1965-6 he worked in series using a simple form such as an open or closed cube as module to create structures in accordance with a pre-determined, logical system. He also taught at the Museum of Modern Art School, New York (1964-7), at Cooper Union, New York (1967-8), at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1969-70) and at New York University from 1970. In 1968 he began to create wall drawings, to be carried out by himself or others in accordance with his specifications, and also produced series of lithographs, etchings and screenprints.
Sol LeWitt earned a place in the history of art for his leading role in the Conceptualmovement. His belief in the artist as a generator of ideas was instrumental in the transition from the modern to the postmodern era. Conceptual art, expounded by LeWitt as an intellectual, pragmatic act, added a new dimension to the artist's role.
"When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art." - Sol LeWitt.
Again, LeWitt's work feature careful use of space and line as well as traditional isometric figures and blocky shapes. With the exception of a few Splotch works and his coloured electrical tape wall drawings, most of his works use a frugal grey, black and white palette. Simple and structural, LeWitt's work features strong conceptual themes and uses a range of scales from small landscapes to massive wall drawings.
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