March 9–July 22, 2007
Ellen Johnson Gallery
Two bold new wall drawings created by Sol LeWitt specifically for the AMAM's Ellen Johnson Gallery are the highlights of our exhibition of the work of this American conceptual artist. The drawings, each measuring more than 18 feet high, are installed on opposite walls of the gallery. The graphite scribble drawing is a gift from the artist. The wall drawings are shown with a selection of early figurative drawings dating to the 1950s, recent gouache drawings, and other sculptures—all from the artist's personal collection. The works on loan complement the AMAM's important early LeWitt work, 49 Three-Part Variations on Three Different Kinds of Cubes (1967–71), also on view. Acquired in 1972, this enamel-on-steel work underscores LeWitt’s belief that the concept is the most important aspect of a work of art. In his words: “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” Newly restored and on view for the first time in more than a decade, it explores three types of cubes: solid cube, cube with opposite sides removed and cube with one side removed, representing all possible permutations of these cubes and their arrangements.
Sol LeWitt, who was born in 1928, died on April 8, 2007, at the age of 78. The two wall drawings at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, created in January, are among his very last. As was noted in his obituary in the New York Times, LeWitt gave instructions to teams of people – in Oberlin's case, members of his studio, Oberlin students, and students from other colleges – for such drawings, which took weeks to execute, always giving the teams "wiggle room" and believing that their input contributed a vital part of the art. The Allen is proud to be able to display these works, as well as works from our permanent collection and works from Mr. LeWitt's own collection, at this time, as a memorial to him and a tribute to his artistic legacy.
For a review of the Allen's Sol LeWitt exhibition from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, please click here.
Friday, March 9, 5:00-7:00 pm, opening reception
Sol LeWitt (American, 1928-2007)
49 Three-Part Variations on Three Different Kinds of Cubes (1967–71)
Enamel on steel
Fund for Contemporary Art, 1972.77