The Drawing Center presents “Drawing Dialogues: Selections from the Sol LeWitt Collection”, an exhibition featuring over one hundred works by more than sixty artists from the renowned artist’s extraordinary collection.
It is the first large-scale exhibition of the collection to be held in New York in over thirty years. The Drawing Center show concentrates on minimal and conceptual drawing, which forms the core of the collection, with classic examples from key figures like Mel Bochner, Hanne Darboven, Eva Hesse, and Lawrence Weiner. It also includes works by artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Jan Dibbets, Kazuko Miyamoto, and Fred Sandback that investigate mark-making in unexpected materials and formats. In addition to exploring cross-connections among LeWitt’s peers, the exhibition presents contributions by older artists whose methods inspired LeWitt, as well as younger artists whose approaches are in dialogue with earlier generations while extending the medium in new directions. Finally, the exhibition features select works by LeWitt himself—including a wall drawing—that resonate with the other objects on view. Presenting work in drawing, sculpture, photography, print, and installation, Drawing Dialogues: Selections from the Sol LeWitt Collection re-examines minimal and conceptual art and the parameters of the drawn medium through the organizing lens of one of its greatest practitioners.
Sol LeWitt’s status as one of the paramount American artists of the past half-century is well established. What is less known is that LeWitt was also an avid collector who during his lifetime amassed an extraordinary ensemble of over 4,000 pieces by approximately 750 artists through purchase, exchange, and gifts. The majority are works from the 1960s and 1970s by LeWitt’s friends and peers whom he admired and encouraged; but the collection also reaches backwards and forwards from that time to embrace art from other periods and cultures. The LeWitt Collection is a remarkable example of an artist’s extraordinary curiosity and generosity, perhaps the truest portrait of a man who was notoriously private but who dedicated himself to his artistic interests and relationships. It is also a portrait of artistic developments in the 1960s and 1970s, when European and American minimal and conceptual art came into their own. Indeed, the collection can be viewed as a lived archive of the world in which LeWitt moved and worked, even as it examines the possibilities for conceptual art across media, disciplines, and time periods.