“I will refer to the kind of art in which I am involved as conceptual art. In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work…The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” —Sol LeWitt2
Solomon “Sol” LeWitt (1928–2007) was an American artist renowned for his role as a founder of Minimalism and Conceptual art, a pioneer in elevating ideas as an art form. LeWitt’s abundant body of work includes more than 1,270 “wall drawings” and numerous “structures” (as he called his sculptures), as well as many drawings, paintings and other forms of art. His work explored “seriality” of ideas and forms, an approach LeWitt compared to musical variations and photography. LeWitt’s artwork is grounded in ideas and is visually powerful and engaging.
Rice University has a special connection to LeWitt and his wall drawings. LeWitt’s wall drawing, “Glossy and Flat Black Squares” was installed as Rice Gallery’s first site-specific work in 2007. This same work was re-installed as Rice Gallery’s final exhibition in 2017.
LeWitt has been described as: “one of the most influential American artists of the 20th century…”3, “a lodestar of modern American art…,”4 and “…as visionary as anyone who ever made art.”5
- To learn more about Sol LeWitt, explore our fall 2019 course, “The Idea of Art and the Art of Ideas” and other Glasscock School courses, programs and events.