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    Sol LeWitt (1928-2007)
    Wall Drawing #506 (flat topped pyramid with color ink washes superimposed), first executed 1986
    Color ink wash
    Dimensions variable


    Galerie 1900-2000, Paris, 1991;
    Sotheby's, New York, February 23, 1993, lot 315;
    Acquired by the present owner from the above.

    Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, "Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings," October 22-November 30, 1986;
    Galerie 1900-2000, Paris, "Sol LeWitt," December 4-27, 1991.

    S. Singer, ed., Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings 1984-1988: Catalogue Raisonné, Bern, 1989, pp. 42, 109, 156;
    S. Singer, ed., Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings 1984-1992: Catalogue Raisonné, Andover, 1992, pp. 42, 139.

    First installed in October 1986 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, this wall drawings is accompanied by a certificate signed by the artist and a diagram. The certificate is the signature for the wall drawing and must accompany it when sold or otherwise transferred. Studio assistants are available to re-create the work, all expenses to be paid by the purchaser.

    One of the central figures in both Minimalism and Conceptual art (a term he coined), Sol LeWitt is of key importance to 20th- and 21st-century art. Wall Drawing #506, first exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1986, is a trademark work in a format pioneered by the artist, who had been creating wall drawings since 1968; a proposal for a wall drawing appeared in "Information," the legendary 1971 survey of younger artists at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight has called LeWitt's wall drawings "a unique contribution to the history of art."

    "When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair," LeWitt wrote in his seminal 1967 essay "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art," concluding, "The idea becomes a machine that makes the art." His large wall drawings, which were precisely plotted out in drawings of the type that come with the present work, could be the result of weeks of work by teams of other artists whom he employed to create them; there was often a degree of flexibility in their execution. He continued to call them drawings even when the material was paint, drawing being the technique that most closely connects the creation to the mind.

    A work of great boldness and simplicity, Wall Drawing #506 shows a flat-topped pyramid against a vivid blue background. The accompanying diagram indicates what proportions of gray, yellow, red, and blue are to create the pyramid's rich shades of brown. The accompanying certificate, in a reflection of LeWitt's generosity, indicates the names of the three artists-Andrew Carrie, David Connearn, and David Higginbotham-who drew the work at its first exhibition.

    LeWitt studied art at Syracuse University; after serving in the US Army during the Korean War, creating posters for the Special Services, he moved to New York, where he had jobs including production work for Seventeen magazine and graphic designer in the office of architect I.M. Pei. But as an artist, he did not immediately find his own way. Working as a night receptionist and clerk at the Museum of Modern Art, he got to know artists Dan Flavin, Robert Mangold, and Robert Ryman, as well as the influential critic Lucy Lippard, who inscribed the frontispiece to her landmark 1973 book, Six Years: The Dematerialization of Art (1966-1972), "For Sol." Inspired partly by the new art that he saw in New York, which was still under the sway of Abstract Expressionism, as well as by Russian Constructivism and by Eadweard Muybridge's sequential photographs of moving subjects, LeWitt was inspired to create a kind of art defined by simplicity, beginning with the geometric sculptures that first gained him notice.

    LeWitt was a prominent influence on both peers and younger artists such as Frank Stella and Eva Hesse. With Lucy Lippard, he cofounded the New York artist book nonprofit Printed Matter, Inc. in 1976. Among many other institutions, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Tate Gallery in London, the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, NY, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis all hold examples of LeWitt's work. Some 105 of the artist's wall drawings are on long-term view at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in a 27,000-square-foot former mill building.

    More information about LeWitt, Sol, also known as LeWitt, Sol, Sol LeWiit.

    Condition Report*: Framed Dimensions 17.25 X 25.75 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    19th Thursday
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