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luscious austerity

December 5, 2008
click on image to view slideshow

click on image to view slideshow

(NYTimes) The Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, who died last year, was our Fra Angelico. And the three-story 19th-century mill here, housing a survey of his panoramic wall drawings, is our Museo di San Marco: a building full of art conceived by one artist, executed by many hands, devoted to big ideas. So it will be for the next quarter century, which is how long “Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective” is scheduled to run. […]

[LeWitt] often said that beauty was not the point of his art, but the Mass MoCA installation is pretty gorgeous.

And no art, we suddenly see, is better suited to meet hard economic times. Most of the materials used in the wall drawings are five-and-dime simple: pencils, colored ink, crayons, brushes, paper. You could tote them around in a shopping bag, ready to tackle the first empty wall you found.

Not that these drawings are street art. They aren’t populist in that way; they were meant for the great indoors. But neither do they depend on elite settings — museums or galleries — to make sense. They are abstract, not arcane. Their visual effects can be complex, but their language is plain: lines, colors, clean surfaces, the basics of grade-school art class. No wonder they feel welcoming; they take us back to the past before they take us somewhere else. Read full article.

View video of the creation of one of the wall drawings. And at the exhibition website you can see all the drawings in the exhibition.

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