June 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
7 Sol Lewitt wall drawings
installed at Magasin 3 Stockholm in 2010:
”Wall Drawing #51”, June 1970
All architectural points connected by straight lines. Blue snap lines.
”Wall Drawing #85”, June 1971
Four color composite/pencil. A wall is divided into four horizontal parts. In the top row are four equal divisions, each with lines in a different direction. In the second row, six double combinations; in the third row, four triple combinations; in the bottom row, all four combinations superimposed.
”Wall Drawing #111”, September 1971
A wall divided vertically into five equal parts, with ten thousand lines in each part: 1st) 6″ (15 cm) long; 2nd) 12″ (30 cm) long; 3rd) 18″ (45 cm) long; 4th) 24″ (60 cm) long; 5th) 30″ (75 cm) long. Pencil.
”Wall Drawing #123”, 1972
Copied lines. The first drafter draws a not straight vertical line as long as possible. The second drafter draws a line next to the first one, trying to copy it. The third drafter does the same, as do as many drafters as possible. Then the first drafter, followed by the others, copies the last line drawn until both ends of the wall are reached. Pencil.
”Wall Drawing #124”, March 1972
Horizontal not straight lines. Each drafter draws one not straight horizontal line from the left side of the wall to the right. The lines should not touch. There are as many lines as drafters; each draws one. Pencil.
”Wall Drawing #422”, November 1984
The room (or wall) is divided vertically into fifteen parts. All one-, two-, three-, and four part combinations of four colors, using color ink washes. Color ink wash.
”Wall Drawing #715”, February 1993
On a black wall, pencil scribbles to maximum density. Pencil.
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From curator Elisabeth Millqvist ‘s notes:
“2-3 assistants have sharpened pencils for a whole day.”
“Wall drawing 715 has the instruction: ”On a black wall, pencil scribbles to maximum density”. The 22 meter black wall is slowly filled. After 3 days Anthony Sansotta from Sol LeWitt’s studio comments:”nice foundation”. It takes four weeks of work before it is finished.”
“INCLUDED ON THE SHOPPING LIST we have had 244 pencil leds (2mm 2B), 12 pencil sharpeners, 20 pencil holders, 18 rolls of tape, paint (Mars Black, Pyrrole Red, Quinacridoe Rose Deep, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Phthalo, Blue Deep), 15 liters of varnish, Indigo Blue chalk pigment (500 g), four 3 meter long wooden rulers, 30 l distilled water, a liquid measure, cloth rags, 3 scaffolds (with wheels), 7 stepladders and a good deal more. LeWitt is a pioneer within Conceptual Art. In 1967 he wrote ”Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” which is counted as the first manifesto of Conceptual Art. Conceptual Art has changed since then, become a field of different trajectories, but his work emphasizes that which is most fundamental – the idea is what’s important. The instructions together with the executed wall drawing constitute the art. In contrast to this the preparations for the execution are very concrete.
ANYONE CAN DO WALL DRAWINGS is what LeWitt thought originally but he changed his mind. Nowadays, after his death, the work is overseen by assistants from his studio who all worked with him at one point. At Magasin 3 the work is headed by Anthony Sansotta, Wim Starkenberg and eventually also John Hogan. It’s been two years since LeWitt died. It remains to be seen how his wall drawings will be produced. LeWitt’s studio would like the white walls to be a bluish white (a cold color) and prescribe the roller size to be used when the walls are painted. I don’t know what LeWitt’s attitude was but he said that ”different kinds of walls makes for different kinds of drawings”. This is far from a free interpretation, not even close to this summer’s staging of Strindberg’s Fröken Julie, where Miss Julie is an already mature women that falls in love with a young African instead of an aristocratic young lady in love with her fathers valet.”
[image: "Wall Drawing #111" as installed at Magasin 3, 2010 - detail]
May 19, 2011 § 5 Comments
William Burroughs’ Color Walks
“Another exercise that is very effective is walking on colors. Pick out all the reds on a street, focusing only on red objects–brick, lights, sweaters, signs. Shift to green, blue, orange, yellow. Notice how the colors begin to stand out more sharply of their own accord. I was walking on yellow when I saw a yellow amphibious jeep near the corner of 94th Street and Central Park West. It was called the Thing. This reminded me of the Thing I knew in Mexico. He was nearly seven feet tall and had played the Thing in a horror movie of the same name, and everybody called him the Thing, though his name was James Arness. I hadn’t thought about the Thing in twenty years, and would not have thought about him except walking on yellow at that particular moment.”
(From “Ten Years and a Billion Dollars” William S. Burroughs in The Adding Machine: Selected Essays, Arcade Publishing, New York, 1985)
“For example, I was taking a color walk around Paris the other day…doing something I picked up from your pictures in which the colors shoot out all through the canvas like they do in the street. I was walking town the boulevard when I suddenly felt this cool wind on a warm day and when I looked out all through the canvas like they do in the street. I was walking down the boulevard when I looked out I was seeing all the blues in the street in front of me, blue on a foulard…blue on a young workman’s ass…his blue jeans…a girl’s blue sweater…blue neon…the sky…all the blues. When I looked again I saw nothing but all the reds of traffic lights…car lights…a café sign…a man’s nose. Your paintings make me see the streets of Paris in a different way. And then there are all the deserts and the Mayan masks and the fantastic aerial architecture of your bridges and catwalks and Ferris wheels.”
(Burroughs, from an interview with Brion Gysin in 1960)
May 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Walter de Maria, “Boxes for Meaningless Work”
“I will have built two small boxes. I put small things in the boxes. A sign explains the boxes to anyone who should approach them. It says “Meaningless work boxes.” Throw all of the things into one box, then throw all of the things into the other. Back and forth, back and forth. Do this for as long as you like. What do you feel? Yourself? The Box? The Things? Remember this doesn’t mean anything.” March 1960
See also de Maria’s essay “Meaningless Work:”
“Meaningless work is obviously the most important and significant art form today. The aesthetic feeling given by meaningless work cannot be described exactly because it varies with each individual doing the work. Meaningless work is honest. Meaningless work will be enjoyed and hated by intellectuals—though they should understand it. Meaningless work cannot be sold in art galleries or win prizes in museums—though old fashioned records of meaningless work (most of all paintings) do partake in these indignities.”
both originally published in An Anthology of Chance Operations, La Monte Young, ed., Heiner Friedrich, New York, 1970