6 parts: each 25 x 48 cm
Linocut on paper
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by the artist
Lines in Four Directions in Color on Color
Annual members’ gift, Stiftung für konstruktive und konkrete Kunst, 2004
Sol LeWitt (born 1928 in Hartford, USA, died 2007 in New York) studied at Syracuse University in upstate New York from 1945 to 1949. He also attended the Cartoonist and Illustration School at Syracuse in 1953. Along with Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd, he was one of the founders of Minimal Art and became a key figure of Conceptual Art at the end of the 1960s. His texts “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” and “Sentences on Conceptual Art” are regarded as the most important definitions of this movement to this day. LeWitt’s phrase “the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the art” demonstrates how he regarded an idea as more important than its realization. According to this logic, a work can be realized by someone else, or not at all. This was a radical break with the traditional understanding of the importance of artistic skills. LeWitt regarded his work as “conceptual,” meaning it is neither an illustration of a mathematical principle, nor a transformation of philosophy. He developed a modular system that had been reduced to a few elements. These included a square grid in his three-dimensional works, and patterns of lines and configurations of circles and rectangles in his two-dimensional works. These elements offered him countless possible combinations and variations. With more than five hundred accompanying working drawings, his wall drawings play a special role in his oeuvre. In several respects, they are the truest expression of his idea of Conceptual Art. By deciding to work directly on the wall, LeWitt combined the omission of a traditional picture support with immense flexibility. His wall drawings are not bound to a particular place in either a conceptual or physical sense. After they have been erased, they can be realized again anytime anywhere, provided LeWitt’s instructions are followed and one of his assistants supervises the process.
Before Sol LeWitt realized the two “Wall Drawings” for his solo exhibition (2004–2005) at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv, he surveyed the location on February 24, 2004. He decided to use two designs from his current series called “Curves.” Based on his instructions, the two wall paintings “Working Drawings for Haus Konstruktiv” were realized in roughly five weeks under the supervision of Nicolai Angelov. The two long walls measuring 7 x 22 meters in the large hall were painted with a formation of broad, multipart, intertwined arcs in red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple. When looking at the working drawing, the overwhelming effect of the wall drawing is difficult to imagine, with the mighty waves of color seeming to unhinge the entire room.
In his artist’s edition “Lines in Four Directions in Color on Color” made for the Museum Haus Konstruktiv, LeWitt referred back to one of his earlier configurations, which he had used in 1968 in his first “Wall Drawing” in the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York (“Wall Drawing Number One”) and which he later continued in different variations. It was this work and the many that followed that established LeWitt as one of the most important representatives of Conceptual Art. Despite this fact, however, the planned erection of his sculpture “Cube” (Walter A. Bechtler Stiftung) in Zurich in the 1980s met with fierce resistance. After decades of searching for a location, it finally found a home in the sculpture garden of the Zellweger Park in Uster.