Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective comprises 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s career from 1969 to 2007. These occupy nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that have been installed—per LeWitt’s own specifications—over three stories of a historic mill building situated at the heart of MASS MoCA’s campus. The 27,000-square-foot structure, known as Building #7, has been fully restored for the exhibition by Bruner/Cott & Associates architects, which has closely integrated the building into the museum’s main circulation plan through a series of elevated walkways, a dramatic new vertical lightwell, and new stairways.
Directions for Sol LeWitt wall drawings range from simple (offering room for interpretation) to exact.
The directions for Wall Drawing #340: Six-part drawing. The wall is divided horizontally and vertically into six equal parts. First part: On red, blue horizontal parallel lines, and in the center, a circle within which are yellow vertical parallel lines; second part: On yellow, red horizontal parallel lines, and in the center, a square within which are blue vertical parallel lines; third part: On blue, yellow horizontal parallel lines, and in the center, a triangle within which are red vertical parallel lines; fourth part: On red, yellow horizontal parallel lines, and in the center, a rectangle within which are blue vertical parallel lines; fifth part: On yellow, blue horizontal parallel lines, and in the center, a trapezoid within which are red vertical parallel lines; sixth part: On blue, red horizontal parallel lines, and in the center, a parallelogram within which are yellow vertical parallel lines. The horizontal lines do not enter the figures. Red, yellow, blue crayon on red, yellow and blue wall
Two-part drawing. The two walls are each divided horizontally and vertically into four equal parts. First wall: 12-inch (30 cm) bands of lines in four directions, one direction in each part, drawn in black India ink. Second wall: Same, but with four colors drawn in India ink and color ink washes.
All two-part combinations of arcs from corners and sides, and straight, not straight, and broken lines within a 36-inch (90 cm) grid.
The first drafter has a black marker and makes an irregular horizontal line near the top of the wall. Then the second drafter tries to copy it (without touching it) using a red marker. The third drafter does the same, using a yellow marker. The fourth drafter does the same, using a blue marker. Then the second drafter, followed by the third and fourth, copies the last line drawn until the bottom of the wall is reached.
Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective is on view at Mass MoCA from 2008 through 2033 and organized by Yale University Art Gallery, Williams College Museum of Art, and Mass MoCA in collaboration with the Estate of Sol LeWitt.
All Photos by Kevin Kennefick, courtesy of The Estate of Sol LeWitt.