Using the essential design elements of line, shape and color, American artist Sol Lewitt (1928-2007) created a dazzling array of inventive and exuberant abstractions in a wide variety of media, including printmaking, painting and sculpture.
Much as a composer can conjure music from a limited scale, Lewitt created highly complex visual compositions from simple linear patterns, standard geometric forms, and a palette of only primary and secondary hues. The resulting works, often executed in extensive series with myriad variations, reveal the unusual breadth of his creative ingenuity and originality.
With a career beginning in the 1960s, Lewitt was a key player in the modern art movements of Minimalism, which reduced art to its most essential forms, and Conceptualism, which exalted the philosophical premise behind the artist’s work. While he often created small scale drawings and prints by hand, Lewitt preferred to have other artists render his larger paintings and sculptures according to his designs. His primary concern was for the pure logic of an abstract composition, rather than the artist’s personal handiwork. He believed that “The idea is the engine that creates the art.”
Lewitt’s architecturally scaled works, which he called Wall Drawings, were nearly always executed without his direct participation. A prime example is Wall Drawing #1118, Whirls and Twirls installed nearby in the lobby of 2555 Grand Boulevard. Hallmark commissioned Lewitt to create this vivid and dynamic mural in 2004, which was painted by local artists under the direction of Lewitt’s studio.
Sol Lewitt: elemental presents a small cross section of the more than one hundred works by Sol Lewitt in the Hallmark Art Collection. Seen together here for the first time, they reveal the many recurring themes he explored throughout his career and offer a glimpse into the artist’s enduring creative legacy.