Source: Time Out
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Embrace the colour in this exhibition of work by the late conceptual art pioneer
When we think of minimalism, we don’t necessarily think of the bright, bold patterns of Sol LeWitt’s wall paintings; but he was at the vanguard of the mid-’60s movement, which reinvented art as something pure, simple, concrete. It was art for the people: accessible, by dint of referring only to itself and eschewing centuries of art history. John Kaldor says of LeWitt’s work, “it was groundbreaking, he established a new vocabulary of visual expression.”
LeWitt’s primary domain was the conceptual branch of minimalism (“the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work,” he wrote in his treatise Paragraphs on Conceptual Art). Over his career he explored art based on formulas (many of his works consisted of instructions for artists or technicians to execute) and art as permutations of a single idea or ‘form’. He was heavily influenced by music, and particularly interested in early Baroque composers and serialists such as Philip Glass and John Cage.
His work has survived better than many of his peers, largely on account of his ability to delight the eye and ignite the imagination. His art has a kind of primal appeal – from his sculptures of geometric forms to his systemic wall paintings (carried out by assistants).
Thanks to Kaldor, who brought the artist out to Australia for projects in 1977 and 1998 and introduced him to Indigenous Australian art, the Art Gallery of NSW has a comprehensive collection of LeWitt’s work, spanning works on paper, sculptures and wall paintings. These will feature in this survey exhibition alongside Indigenous artworks from Sol’s private collection, and wall paintings never yet executed in Australia – including his final artwork, from the ‘scribble’ series, conceived in 2006.
The exhibition will show the connection between LeWitt’s works in different mediums, and even suggest connections or correlations between his work and the work of artists Emily Kam Ngwarray and Gloria Tamerre Petyarre.
Sol LeWitt 'Wall drawing #1091: arcs, circles and bands (room)', 2003, painted room on 4 walls, Art Gallery of NSW © Estate of Sol LeWitt. ARS, licensed by Viscopy.