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Sol LeWitt: In Memoriam

May 2–Sep 16, 2007

LeWitt_OneTwoThreeFour

Sol LeWitt
One-, Two-, Three-, and Four-Part Combinations of Vertical, Horizontal, and Diagonal Left and Right Bands of Color, 1993–94

Gouache on paper
Set of 64 sheets, each: 30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm); Framed, each: 36 1/4 x 28 1/2 (92 x 72.4 cm)
Collection of Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, restricted gift of Alsdorf Foundation, Lindy Bergman, Ann and Bruce Bachmann, Carol and Douglas Cohen, Frances and Thomas Dittmer, Gael Neeson and Stefan T. Edlis, Sandra P. and Jack Guthman, Anne and William J. Hokin, Judith Neisser, Susan and Lewis Manilow, Dr. Paul and Dorie Sternberg, Howard and Donna Stone, Lynn and Allen Turner, Martin E. Zimmerman, Mr. and Mrs. Burton W. Kanter, Ralph and Helyn Goldenberg, and Marcia and Irving Stenn, 1994.13.a–lll
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

In memory of the artist Sol LeWitt, the MCA is presenting a special exhibition of his work that includes a sequence from One-, Two-, Three-, and Four-Part Combinations of Vertical, Horizontal, and Diagonal Left and Right Bands of Color (1993–94), which represents his more recent, colorful style. The exhibition also features a selection of lithographs from Suite of 16 in Color (1971) that shows a progression of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal marks in black, yellow, blue, and red, representing his more spare style of the 1970s. The exhibition includes photographic documentation of LeWitt tracing his long history with the MCA, including major exhibitions in 1979 and 2000.

One of the most influential American artists of the 20th century, LeWitt was a pioneer of conceptual art. “No matter what form [art] may finally have it must begin with an idea,” he wrote in Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967), “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.” This method was realized in his famous wall drawings, which were created by others using a simple set of instructions.