Sol LeWitt created a series of works throughout his life called Wall Drawings. These works are not permanent pieces but temporary drawings with a life span of an intended exhibit. The drawings are not made by the artist but by assistants. The ‘hand of the artist’ is not present. Owning one of these works is not to possess something in a frame but a set of instructions on how to execute the work.
My first experience with a LeWitt wall drawing was at the National Gallery of Art. Wall Drawing #65 may still be on exhibit. The physical piece is not the final product but the visual example of the idea, or instructions, owned by the museum. The work itself not ‘precious’ and will be painted over someday.
How cool is that?
Our idea of art is something lovely and/or meaningful preserved on a canvas or in a frame or display case. LeWitt’s Wall Drawings are the ultimate example of conceptual art. You can own and implement the idea but not a work personally created by him. It is so interesting to have art where that the object is not cherished. There is something very organic about this idea. Sometimes when I work the images are meant to be behind glass. Other pieces have been on metal that I hammered onto wood or paper with the edges exposed. There are fewer barriers between the work and the viewer this way. I want to make a project one day that allows really interaction with the viewer. The piece does not always have to be precious.