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"SOL LE WITT: A Retrospective"
2000-02-19 until 2000-05-21
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, CA, USA United States of America

Clarity, beauty, playfulness. Simplicity, logic, openness. The words that come to mind when describing the work of Sol LeWitt resonate with essential aesthetic and intellectual values. His works are straightforward and legible. Yet, upon closer observation and consideration, even those that initially appear direct and obvious reveal complex subtlety in decision-making. Intellectual substance is paired with visual delight, both of which seep into one's consciousness.

Four decades of LeWitt's work are charted in this exhibition. Wall drawings--works executed directly on the wall in pencil, crayon, ink washes, and recently acrylic paint--and structures--the term LeWitt prefers to use for his three-dimensional works rather than the more traditional term sculpture--form the core of this overview. Works on paper, including drawings--made primarily in pencil, ink, and gouache, an opaque, water-based paint--photographs, books, and posters are included as well. This is a large exhibition but even so catches only the tip of the iceberg of LeWitt's work, for his production is staggering, with more than nine hundred wall drawings, hundreds of drawings on paper, and scores of structures, ranging in size from modest models to human-scale objects to room-sized installations and monumental, outdoor works.

The exhibition is organized within a generally chronological framework. Works from 1960 to 1980 are presented in the fourth-floor galleries; works from 1980 to 2000 are presented in the fifth-floor galleries. In addition, new wall drawings were commissioned for the two large panel walls in the museum atrium, and wall drawings have been executed in the second and third floor galleries. A recent structure made from concrete blocks has been built on the outdoor terrace off the fourth-floor galleries.


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