Sol LeWitt (b.1928, Hartford, CT; d. 2007, New York) was a leading figure of Minimalism and pioneer of Conceptual art. Redefining art production by exploring ideas rather than conventional aesthetics, he distilled art to its essentials. Using the cube as a “grammatical device,” LeWitt’s work is characterized by serialization, repetition, and progression, exemplified by his iconic open-grid structures. Studying systems of line and color, his prolific output of wall drawings represents a breakthrough in his career and solidifies his engagement with two-dimensional practices spanning painting, drawing, photography, and printmaking.
LeWitt has been the subject of numerous one-artist exhibitions and his work is held in public collections worldwide. In 2008, MASS MoCA opened Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, which will remain on view through 2033.
508 West 25th Street, New York
January 24 – February 22, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, January 23, 6 - 8 PM
New York—Pace Gallery announces Horizontal Progressions by Sol LeWitt which brings together seven structures from 1991 in a rare exhibition of a complete series. Horizontal Progressions will be on view at Pace’s 508 West 25th Street gallery from January 24 through February 22, 2014. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, January 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential artists of the last half of the 20th century, Sol LeWitt helped revolutionize the definition of art in the 1960s. In his 1967 essay for Artforum entitled Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, he wrote, “The idea itself, even if not made visual, is as much a work of art as any finished product.”
Early in his career, the cube became the basic module for his artistic inquiry—“the grammatical device”—from which his work developed. Sol LeWitt used the cube to create structures in a myriad of variations, usually in series, over the course of his more than 40 year career. In the same seminal essay he commented, “Using a simple form repeatedly narrows the field of the work and concentrates the intensity to the arrangement of the form. This arrangement becomes the end while the form becomes the means.”
For this exhibition, Pace will exhibit a complete series of horizontal progressions. Together, these structures present a unique opportunity for the audience to view and understand the serial nature of Sol LeWitt’s work. The aluminum structures are painted white, each with a different formation of equally sized, open cubes. In this series, Sol LeWitt explores multiple arrangements of the cube in variations of eight sections to create seven progressive forms.
In the early 1960s, Sol LeWitt began creating three-dimensional structures which have since varied from austere and open in form to dense in mass. In 1966 his work was presented in The Jewish Museum’s landmark exhibition Primary Structures, curated by Kynaston McShine. The late New York Times critic Hilton Kramer commented, “…it is in the nature of modern art to revise and transcend even the most extreme of the limits it sets for itself, and with the new exhibition called Primary Structures…we are clearly in the presence of one of these historic revisions.” In 1969 Sol LeWitt was invited by Harald Szeemann to participate in the iconic Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form: Works, Concepts, Processes, Situations, Information at the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, which was recently revisited by the Fondazione Prada in the 2013 Venice presentation of When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013. The artist was also included in Information, the first major exhibition of Conceptual art, which was also curated by Kynaston McShine and presented by the Museum of Modern Art in 1969 - 1970.
In 1978 the Museum of Modern Art organized a retrospective devoted to Sol LeWitt’s structures, wall drawings and works on paper. In 2000 Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, curated a retrospective of the artist’s work at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This exhibition later traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and was accompanied by a major catalogue. In November 2008, MASS MoCA opened the 25-year exhibition, Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, which remains on view.
In May 2011, the Public Art Fund presented Sol LeWitt: Structures, 1965 – 2006. Curated by Nicholas Baume, the exhibition presented 27 of the artist’s structures in New York’s City Hall Park through December 2011. A catalogue accompanied the exhibition. The following month, Pace Gallery installed the artist’s concrete block structure Horizontal Progression (1991) on the roof of its gallery at 510 West 25th Street which remains visible from The High Line.
In February 2014, the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin will open Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt focusing on the close friendship and work of these two major artists. The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, will also dedicate one room to Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings in the museum’s newly renovated contemporary art wing to open in 2014 for the occasion of the museum’s 250th anniversary.
Horizontal Progressions is Pace Gallery’s twelfth solo exhibition of Sol LeWitt. Pace presented the artist’s work as a solo exhibition for the first time in 1994. That landmark exhibition presented 25 years of the artist’s wall drawings, including works dating from 1970 to the newest work of 1994. Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings was the first and only survey exhibition in New York City to focus on that aspect of the artist’s work. Pace Gallery’s exhibition followed a retrospective of Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Philips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, in 1993.
Pace Gallery has represented the estate of LeWitt since 2007.
Sol LeWitt (1928, Hartford, Connecticut – 2007, New York, New York) has been the subject of hundreds of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide since 1965. His prolific two and three-dimensional work ranges from wall drawings, photographs and works on paper to structures in the form of towers, pyramids and progressions. His structures range in scale and include monumental outdoor pieces.
LeWitt revolutionized art in the 1960s. The artist explored the notion that art is more of the mind than hand. LeWitt achieved a major breakthrough in 1968 when he began executing drawings directly on the wall, using predetermined line-making processes and materials.
LeWitt received a B.F.A. from Syracuse University in 1949. After travelling to Europe and serving in the Korean War, the artist moved to New York City in the 1950s, where he pursued his interest in design at Seventeen magazine and worked as a graphic designer in the office of architect I.M. Pei. In 1960 LeWitt took an entry-level job at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where his co-workers included Dan Flavin, Robert Mangold, and Robert Ryman. Eighteen years later he received a major travelling retrospective organized by the same museum.
His work has been the subject of retrospectives and solo exhibitions worldwide, and is in the collections of renowned institutions including: Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Cleveland Museum of Art; Hara Museum, Tokyo; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland; Los Angeles County Museum; Musée d’Art et d’Historie, Geneva, Switzerland; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Copyright and Credit Information: Photography courtesy Pace Gallery; © 2013 The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
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Pace Gallery is pleased to announce New York exhibitions for spring 2014. Pace is delighted to present solo exhibitions of work by artists: Sol LeWitt Keith Sonnier Richard Tuttle Kiki Smith Robert Mangold Tara Donovan Joel Shapiro Hiroshi Sugimoto The gallery's acclaimed exhibition, "Mingei: Are You Here?," curated by Nicolas Tremblay, will travel from Pace London to New York this March. Pace will also continue its longstanding tradition of one-artist
2014. Pace Gallery. Paperback
16 pages: 14 color illustrations; 7 ⅞ x 8 inches