1928, Hartford, Connecticut 2007, New York, New York
Starting from the simple but radical new idea that an artwork's concept is more important than its form, Sol LeWitt helped revolutionize the definition of art in the 1960s. By the middle of that decade, LeWitt had rejected the dominant, psychologically charged abstract style of artmaking for impersonal, geometric forms. By repeating and varying a single principle, he created sculptural structures that were aesthetically satisfying even as their internal logic was pushed to the edge of irrationality.
LeWitt's procedure of repetition and variance is also the basis for his wall drawings. Each of these impermanent artworks consists of a set of the artist's instructions, something like a musical score, with the actual execution carried out by someone else.
Over the years, LeWitt's austere compositions gradually became more complex and sensuous, though they remained true to his original precepts.
In this clip from 1972, artist John Baldessari sings lines from Sol LeWitt's writings on conceptual art.
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