The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Sol LeWitt Days

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May 24 – October 21, 2012

Opening Reception/Meet the Artists – Thursday, May 24, 5 – 7 pm

The art of Sol LeWitt will be featured this summer at the University of Arizona Museum of Art in an exhibition entitled Sol LeWitt Days. LeWitt, who stressed the ideas behind his work over the artistic execution by the artist himself, often invited other artists and students to assist him in making his installations. Extending this tradition to Tucson, LeWitt’s concepts will be constructed by six teams of Tucson artists starting in the UAMA Main Gallery on May 24th and continuing through the early part of the summer.

LeWitt (1928 – 2007) is widely regarded as a founder of both Minimal and Conceptual art. Inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s freeze frame photographs of people in motion, LeWitt incorporated seriality in his work to imply the passage of time or narrative. He began making wall drawings in 1968. LeWitt would eventually use teams of artist assistants to create his works.

The local teams will take LeWitt’s description of deceptively simple geometric structures and produce wall‐size drawings. Here are three examples of the instructions that will be produced at UAMA:

Wall Drawing #815: Thirty points connected to one another (This example uses common 2″ nails and cotton masonline. ) 

Wall Drawing #797: 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. 

Wall Drawing #960: a straight line about 18″ (45.7 cm) long is drawn; from its midpoint, another line about 18″ (45.7 cm) long; from the midpoint of each subsequent line, another line 18″ (45.7 cm) long, uniformly dispersed covering the wall.

As Sol LeWitt Days will make clear, these straight‐forward instructions yield an astonishing— and stunningly beautiful—variety of work that is at once simple and highly complex, rigorous and sensual. The drawings in the exhibition range from layers of straight lines meticulously drawn in black graphite pencil lead, to rows of delicately rendered wavy lines in acrylic paint arranged like the panels of a folding screen. Forms may appear to be flat, to recede in space, or to project into the viewer’s space, while others meld to the structure of the wall itself. The experience of creating a LeWitt wall drawing has been described as “detailed,” “painstaking,” and “strangely liberating.”

Beginning May 24, the UAMA will host six teams from the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and the Tucson community as they embark on creating art to LeWitt specifications. All work will be done during regular museum hours, and the public is invited to see the creations in progress, talk with the artists, and watch the drawings come alive. We encourage the public to call ahead (621‐7567) to verify the work schedule.

The schedule and teams are:

  • Starting May 24 – Completed
    The Construction Crew: Leon McNeil, Jake Hunnicutt and Jon Howe
    LeWitt Wall Drawings #815 and #1097
  • Magnificent Five: Carolyn Sotelo, Mano Sotelo, Meredith Milstead, Diane Crenshaw and Lily Knoble
    LeWitt Wall Drawings #103 and #869C
  • Starting June 2
    Le Ladies of Witt: Suzanne Hesh, Loren Dawn, Ann Tracy Lopez, Stella Lopez and Alice Vinson
    LeWitt Wall Drawing #797
  • Starting June 12
    Alfred Quiroz’ UA School of Art Summer Session I Class
    LeWitt Wall Drawing #394
  • Starting June 15
    Pima Downtown team led by Tom Plazibat
    LeWitt Wall Drawing #1180
  • Starting July 2
    Tucson Art Brigade team led by Michael Schwartz
    LeWitt Wall Drawing #960

Also in the spirit of Sol LeWitt Days, the public will be encouraged to create their own “mini” LeWitt drawings using materials available in the gallery. Sol LeWitt Days opens with a public reception and “Meet the Artists” opportunity on May 24 from 5 – 7 pm in the UAMA Main Gallery. The reception is free and open to the public. Sol LeWitt Days coincides with an exhibition of New York‐based artist David Headley’s monumental abstractions. Spend the summer in the University of Arizona Museum of Art and immerse yourself in the power of abstract art!

Resources

Arizona Public Media’s UA+‘s video on Sol LeWitt days

Local teams install LeWitt pieces 

Summer Arts! – Tucson Weekly 

Desert Leaf’s article on Summer Art 

Drawing on the Walls at Sol LeWitt Days Exhibition – Arizona Public Media 

Local artists recreate Sol LeWitt