Limiting himself to open white cubes made of wood or, from the mid-1960s onwards, metal the approach Sol LeWitt takes to his skeleton-like serial “structures” is minimalist in the truest sense of the word. However, for LeWitt it is ultimately neither a matter of the cubic form nor the specific material used, but of the serial arrangements used as blueprints for these reductionist forms. Indeed, the arrangements are based on mathematical formulae to ensure that each work is executed according to a pre-established law instead of subjective-emotional decision making. This preserves the centrality of the idea or concept in the development of the works. In the words of LeWitt, “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.” The first step is thereby the establishment of a rule or system from which the serial program can arise.
After devoting himself to his monumental wall drawings, which involve a nearly complete de-materialization of the object in favor of a bare presentation of concepts, LeWitt turns at the beginning of the 1990s to a work series on paper that, in addition to the use of basic geometric forms such the horizontal line, is also characterized by irregular, flowing and ornamental grid structures.
Born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut (USA), LeWitt lived and worked primarily in New York until his death in 2007.