press release

Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings
22.03.2019 - 25.05.2019

Perrotin Shanghai is proud to present Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings, a landmark exhibition of this foremost figure of the American Conceptual and Minimal Art movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition focuses on LeWitt’s seminal wall drawings and includes 16 ink-wash works initially conceived in the 1980s and 1990s, including a monumental, immersive wall drawing spanning four walls. This marks the first exhibition of LeWitt’s wall drawings in mainland China.

Sol LeWitt exhibited widely in the 1960s, a time of great social and political change in the United States. Living and working in culturally rich and progressive New York City, the artist's practice mined his interest in seriality, form, and color and increasingly probed the dematerialization of art. In 1967, LeWitt published “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” where he asserted that, “the idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” This pioneering concept is exemplified in his ongoing series of wall drawings, for which rule-based installation instructions were conceived by the artist to be later carried out by assistants.

In the late 1980s, LeWitt devised a system of superimposing pigments, applied in layers, with ink soaked rags. The wall drawings that comprise this exhibition make use of this technique to create luminous, multifaceted geometric and abstract forms. For example, wall drawings from the series Wall Drawing #606 A-K: Forms derived from a cubic rectangle, with color ink washes, are installed in a striking grid that spans an entire wall and implement the layered application of saturated gray, yellow, red, and blue planes of color. Meanwhile, the monumental Wall Drawing #624: On four walls, arcs 10 inches (25cm) wide from the midpoint of the right side of one wall, with alternating gray, white; yellow, white; red, white; blue, white bands, transforms an entire room with its ebullient curved bands. LeWitt's methodical exploration of form and color and position that an idea is as important as the physical artwork continues to challenge notions of art production and the role of the artist.