Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Sol LeWitt

“Sol LeWitt gives primacy to the originating idea of a work of art rather than to its execution. Seeking a way to escape the dominance of Abstract Expressionism—with its large-scale paintings and emotionally loaded brushwork—he began in the early 1960s to explore a new method of making art” […] “Based on the unit of an open rather than solid cube, the works peel away what he perceived as the decorative skin on traditional sculpture, revealing their underlying skeleton, or structure. Though he has created structures in a range of scales and shapes—the permutations growing more intricate over the last four decades—LeWitt has maintained the use of white cubes with a ratio of 1:8:5.” -Whitney

"Sol LeWitt is a minimalist by style and a conceptualist by inclination and faith. Between minimalism and conceptualism -- which in his work and in that of many other artists of his generation butted up against each other, overlapping to the point where they are by now often inseparable -- he created a new and a fresh art." -St. Luis Dispatch, David Bonetti, Visual Arts Critic 10.3.2004 

As Sol Lewitt explained in his 'Paragraphs on Conceptual Art', that "art that is meant for the sensation of the eye primarily would be called perceptual rather than conceptual" (Lewitt,1967) which highlighted the dichotomous nature of the design/art practice, in that to create something visually appealing, the concept is rendered with partial unimportance.
"Since the function of conception and perception are contradictory (one pre, the other post fact) that artist would mitigate his idea by applying subjective judgement to it." (Ibid)
This, empirically, I have to agree with to some degree. However, the notion that 'percept' and 'concept' are separate, I feel, is of an absolutist, theoretical viewpoint. The work we are creating relies heavily upon the concept, but without the perception, it is of no value.

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