Sol LeWitt

Regarded as an originator of both Minimal and Conceptual art, Sol LeWitt’s artistic practice explores the relationship between art and space through systemized patterns and lines.

Sol LeWitt (1928 – 2007) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and died on April 8, 2007 in New York City at the age of 78. His two and three-dimensional work is of all sizes, ranging from works on paper to wall drawings and monumental outdoor structures. “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art,” he wrote in his 1967 essay “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art.” Lewitt met Robert Ryman, Dan Flavin and Robert Mangold while working as a bookseller at the MoMA gift shop in New York. His interest in writing and artist’s books led to his co-founding, with Lucy Lippard, of Printed Matter, a non-profit organization dedicated to small press publishing. Lewitt’s first retrospective exhibition was presented in 1970 by the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, followed by a major mid-career retrospective at MOMA in New York in 1978.

LeWitt’s works are in numerous public collections including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Centre National d’Art Moderne Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Turin’s Castello di Rivoli; the Moderna Museet Stockholm; and the Tate Gallery, London. In November 2007 the Centre Pompidou-Metz organized a retrospective of the artist’s wall drawings, “Sol LeWitt. Wall Drawings from 1968 to 2007.” A year later, “Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective” opened at MassMOCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), and will remain on view for 25 years.

Portrait : Sol LeWitt installing Wall Drawing #136 at Chiostro di San Nicolò, Spoleto, Italy, 1972. Photography by Giorgio Lucarini. © 2020 Estate of Sol LeWitt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.