artist / participant

press release

Sol Le Witt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective is a major collaboration between the Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art.

The impetus for Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective was a 2004 conversation between Reynolds and LeWitt. Their conversation evolved and resulted in a commitment by the artist to give a substantial number of his wall drawings and his entire wall-drawing archive to the Yale University Art Gallery, which already owned an extensive array of LeWitt’s art in multiple mediums. Realizing that the Gallery did not have enough space to install and maintain a large number of the artist’s wall drawings at any one time, Reynolds suggested to LeWitt that MASS MoCA, with its historic mill complex, might be able to accommodate an extended retrospective of the works.

Reynolds and LeWitt then met with MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson and toured the museum’s campus of industrial buildings, where the artist was immediately intrigued by Building #7. The structure, situated at the center of MASS MoCA’s multibuilding complex, and featuring large banks of windows that open onto two flanking courtyards, appealed to LeWitt as an ideal site for a multifloor installation of his work. His specifications for the space included new circulation paths, including a series of “flying bridges” and newly created courtyard spaces, that will connect the LeWitt building to MASS MoCA’s changing exhibition galleries and entry lobby.

Thompson comments, “As we’ve built the interior partitions to Sol’s specifications, it has become clear that his understanding of architectural space was as masterful as his wall drawings themselves. He consciously sited his wall drawings to engage both the interior of Building #7 and its outside environment. It is stunning to see how well his monumental aesthetic intervention within the heart of the MASS MoCA campus of buildings is going to enliven the entire museum. Sol left almost every window in Building #7 generously open to invite in a play of continuous natural light—which is somehow typical of his creative spirit.”

Sol Le Witt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective