Painter Sol Lewitt dead at 78

FourSol Lewitt, a great American artist whose work covered minimal and conceptual abstract expressionism, died Sunday morning in New York City at 78. “LeWitt is one of the key artists of the 1960s. His work bridges Minimal and Conceptual art, movements that abandoned the emphasis on psychological content and gestural form typifying Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s. In a seminal text in written in 1967 titled “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” LeWitt emphasized his view of art: “No matter what form it may finally have it must begin with an idea,” and, “When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” Chrissie Iles, a curator at New York’s Whitney Museum, which produced a LeWitt retrospective in 2000. “His early work established the new languages of both minimalism and conceptual art, and his `Sentences on Conceptual Art’ [a list of 35 statements he published in 1969], became one of the iconic artists’ texts of the 20th century. His wall drawings re-defined the parameters of both drawing and painting, whilst his structures epitomize the abstract serial form that came to define art of the ‘70s. … His work continues to exert a powerful influence on the younger generation in its deceptive simplicity and power.” Good stuff, here’s some images of his work, plus most major museums have pieces of his you can checkout in person. Back in the day when I worked at the gallery, I framed and installed a few of his pieces.

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