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, U.Va.

Collection: Sol LeWitt and Photography

09/03/2015 to 06/05/2016
Curated by William Wylie, Professor, Department of Art

Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) is widely recognized as one of the most influential artists of the last half-century. The exhibition Collection: Sol LeWitt and Photography will feature the photographic work of LeWitt as well as pieces by other artists that relate to LeWitt's conceptual practice. All works are drawn from LeWitt's personal collection, and offers the public a rare opportunity to focus on the artist's investigations with photography.

LeWitt's photographic investigation of serial systems is evident in Brick Wall (1977), comprised of a series of black and white photographs taken at regular intervals during the day from dawn to dusk. The gradual light changes, however, seem artificial and more reminiscent of a predetermined tonal progression. Other multi-part works in the exhibition include A Sphere Lit from the Top, Four Sides, and All Their Combinations (2004), a grid of 28 photographs. Further, works by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and August Sander relating to LeWitt's practice of seriality are included in the exhibition.

Additionally, Wall Drawing 686, a wall drawing created by LeWitt will be executed on site. Also to be included in the exhibition is The Fralin Museum's own LeWitt 'structure', Incomplete Open Cube, a perfect three-dimensional representation of one of the series of photographs on display.

LeWitt Wall Drawing 686

Watch a time-lapse video of the realization of Wall Drawing 686 in The Fralin's main lobby.
© 2015 The Sol LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

About the Wall Drawing:
In "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art," 1967, LeWitt famously declared that art had reached a point where "The idea becomes a machine that makes the art." His most strident application of this dictum appears in the series of wall drawings he began creating in 1968. Each wall drawing consists of a set of instructions or simple diagram to be followed in executing the work. The radical proposition comes in the temporary nature of the work, and the fact that it need not be executed by the artist. The Fralin Museum of Art is pleased to add Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 686 to its lobby gallery for long-term display.

Wall Drawing 686 was first executed in 1991. The Fralin's execution is the second ever produced, and the first to be photographically documented. The work consists of the following instructions:

Five drafters each draw within a circle of five feet (150 cm) in diameter, five thousand straight lines, five inches (12.5 cm) long, using a 5 H pencil.

The drawing was installed on-site over the course of several days. It was overseen by a representative of the LeWitt Foundation, Director of Studio Art Bill Wylie, and student volunteers. The straightforward instructions yielded an unexpected complexity as layers of straight lines meticulously drawn in black graphite pencil lead, appear to alternately (and contradictorily) be flat, recede in space, project into the viewer's space, or meld to the structure of the wall itself.

The Fralin Museum of Art's programming is made possible by the generous support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Office of the Provost & the Vice Provost for the Arts, U.Va. Arts Council: Enriching the Arts on Grounds, Ray A. Graham Endowment Fund, the Studio Art Department, WTJU 91.1 FM, albemarle Magazine, and Ivy Publications LLC's Charlottesville Welcome Book.

Fall 2015