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Group DescriptionIn a major collaboration among three institutions, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective opens at MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), in North Adams, Massachusetts, on November 16, 2008. The landmark installation comprises forty years of work by Sol LeWitt, one of the most influential contemporary artists of the last half century.
Conceived by the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, in collaboration with the artist before his death in April 2007, the project has been undertaken by the Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts. The installation will remain on view for twenty-five years, occupying a 27,000-square-foot historic mill building in the heart of MASS MoCA’s campus. The three-story building, which is being fully restored for this exhibition by Bruner/Cott and Associates architects, will be outfitted with a complex sequence of new interior walls constructed to LeWitt’s own specifications.
Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective will consist of one hundred works—covering nearly an acre of wall surface—that LeWitt created from 1968 to 2007. The works in the retrospective will be on loan from numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the Yale University Art Gallery, to which LeWitt donated a number of wall drawings.
LeWitt—who stressed the idea behind his work over its execution—is widely regarded as one of the leading exponents of Minimalism and Conceptual art, known primarily for his deceptively simple geometric structures and dynamic wall drawings. His experiments with the latter commenced in 1968 and were considered radical, in part because this new form of drawing was purposely temporal and often executed not just by LeWitt but also by other artists and students whom he invited to assist him in the installation of his artworks.
Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery, who in 1993 worked closely with LeWitt to produce an earlier retrospective of his wall drawings for Phillips Academy Andover’s Addison Gallery of American Art, explains, “Until now, large displays of Sol’s wall drawings have of necessity been on view for relatively brief periods of time in major museum survey exhibitions. To otherwise view multiple LeWitt wall drawings, one has had to travel far and wide and spend years pursuing them individually in situ. At MASS MoCA, a visual feast of LeWitt’s wall drawings will be on view for the next twenty-five years, attended by annual ‘teaching exhibitions’ that will help further elucidate Sol’s remarkable artistic legacy. Visitors will be able to return again and again to see and enjoy one hundred of his wall drawings in one location.”
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