Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sol Lewitt Retrospective

So I was recently able to take in the Sol Lewitt Retrospective at Mass MoCA.  I've gotta say, the amount of work he was able to create was daunting!  I've seen several of his wall drawings in person before, but by no means this many.  The exhibitions spans 3 floors of Mass MoCA chronicling his early, mid, and late career works.  Each period was accompanied by a video talking about each step in his career, and the team of 65 volunteers who helped execute this phenomonal show.

What I found most interesting is, Sol Lewitt was an artist who's work was fueled by the idea behind each work, and the design process, not necessarily the execution.  He clearly didn't have the mastery of the brush like a DaVinci, or Picasso. 

Now this raises the questions, of what makes art?  Is it the execution, the idea, or perhaps both?  The retrospective was executed entirely by a team of 65 students, done to the exact specifications of Sol Lewitt.  Because these works were not created by Sol Lewitt's hand per say, does this not make him a genius, or even a true artist?

Personally, I left the museum feeling very inspired.  I particularly love his mid career's work where he would experiment with color, and his 'equations' for creating work.  I love that when you get up close on this work, you can see all the colors that were mixed to create the hue you were seeing from a distance.  With these transposed colors, you're actually looking through one color to the next.  He'd apply several very thin washes to achieve this effect.  His pallete was always just the basic primary colors.  He'd use these to create those washes and get his new colors.  Below are some images from the show....