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Collaborative Exhibition Between Cincinnati Art Museum and CAC Features Sol LeWitt
Mel Bochner, D1 (Erased and Turned), 1996, oil on prepared paper, 15 x 20 inches. Courtesy The LeWitt Collection, Chester, CT. © Mel Bochner.

CINCINNATI.- The distinguished American artist Sol LeWitt is the focus of a two-part exhibition that will be on view at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) and the Cincinnati Art Museum through a first-time co-presentation between the two institutions.

LeWitt x 2 documents the arc of LeWitt’s career in Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line, while Selections from The LeWitt Collection showcases the artist’s personal collection, assembled with his wife, Carol Androccio LeWitt.

Sol LeWitt was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and was renowned for his contributions that shaped minimalism and conceptual art. His geometric sculptures, inventive wall drawings, and colorful works on paper have defined and pushed the limits of art making over the last 40 years. Concurrently, LeWitt was a central figure in the international art world and recognized as a force of encouragement and artistic integrity. He was recognized not only because of his influence on conceptual art, but also for his sincere support of other artists and their work.

Organized by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Dean Swanson, LeWitt x 2, is on view jointly at the Contemporary Arts Center and at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Saturday, April 26, the institutions’ directors will lead tours of LeWitt x 2. CAC’s Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator Raphaela Platow lead tours of Cincinnati Art Museum’s Selections from The LeWitt Collection while Cincinnati Art Museum Director Aaron Betsky leads tours of CAC’s Structure and Line.

Selections from The LeWitt Collection - Feb. 9 – May 4, 2008 at Cincinnati Art Museum.

This selection of artworks acquired by Sol LeWitt and Carol Androccio LeWitt focuses on the period from 1960 to the present. The LeWitt Collection is renowned for its scope and breadth and includes works by approximately 750 artists; over 100 works are featured in this exhibition. By recognizing, collecting and preserving the works of contemporaries and younger emerging artists, the LeWitts not only encouraged individual artists but also contributed to public interest in the conceptual art movement.

“LeWitt x 2 presents the Art Museum and the CAC with an opportunity to collaborate and remind the city of the many valued artworks that are accessible every day to everyone,” said Aaron Betsky, Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum. “This exhibition not only represents LeWitt’s particular sensibility, but also gives visitors a different way of looking at art through the eyes of an artist and a collector.”

Many of the works in The LeWitt Collection were gifts or trades from artist friends, including a number of key works from the early years of the conceptual art movement. Over the years, Sol LeWitt’s renown led to contacts with artists in other countries and by the 1970s, the collection had taken on a distinctly international character, including many important works by artists associated with the Arte Povera movement. Beginning with the marriage of Sol LeWitt to Carol Androccio in 1982, the couple collaborated in overseeing the growth and direction of the collection.

Among the approximately 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs included in Selections from The LeWitt Collection are works by Carl Andre, Alice Aycock, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jan Dibbets, Jackie Ferrara, Gilbert and George, Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Mario Merz, Robert Ryman, Pat Steir and many other esteemed artists.

A full-color catalog for LeWitt x 2, published by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, includes essays by Dean Swanson, guest curator for the exhibition, and by Martin Friedman, director emeritus of the Walker Art Center.

Selections from The LeWitt Collection is sponsored by The Kaplan Foundation and Bill and Susan Friedlander with generous support from a friend of the Cincinnati Art Museum. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous operating support provided by the Fine Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, City of Cincinnati and its members.

LeWitt x 2 has been organized by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Generous funding for LeWitt x 2 has been provided by the Steinhauer Charitable Trust, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., Peggy Hedberg and John Niederhuber, John Neis and Chele Isaac, the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation and the Overture Foundation, and the Terry Family Foundation.

Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line - Feb. 23 – May 4, 2008 at CAC

The CAC is pleased to partner with the Cincinnati Art Museum in exhibiting two extraordinary aspects of Sol LeWitt’s life and career. The CAC’s presentation Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line examines four decades of work created by LeWitt.

“The CAC’s LeWitt x 2 presentation allows us to celebrate the work of Sol LeWitt, an artist whose contributions to art are substantial and enduring. This unique partnership gives us the unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with the Cincinnati Art Museum, an institution with a magnificent history and collection, and together explore two central aspects of LeWitt’s life: the art he made and the art he loved,” says Raphaela Platow, Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator of the CAC.

LeWitt’s monumental wall drawings—produced for public and private spaces since the 1960s—may be the works for which he is best known. Executed by assistants, sometimes with local help, these works have evolved over the years to include monochromatic line drawings, bright geometric and curvilinear paintings, and a subtle Scribble drawing.

LeWitt, a minimalist, strove to “recreate art, to start from square one.” He was also a conceptualist who wrote, “Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.”

When this influential, enigmatic artist died in April 2007, New York Times art critic Roberta Smith wrote about LeWitt, “For him, the idea was the most important aspect of the artwork. But even more crucial was the intimate, timeless drawing processes that turned one into the other, and the generous ways he let us in on them.”

LeWitt believed, “a life in art is an unimaginable and unpredictable experience.” He vigorously supported other artists and eschewed publicity, rejecting what he called “the cult of the artist.” This attitude corresponded to his philosophy on art. In his art, he believed the concept to be more important than the physical work itself. In his life, he wanted the art to be the focus of attention, not the artist. His friend and colleague artist Chuck Close said about LeWitt, “He wants people to have a relationship with his work, not with him.”

Sol LeWitt: Structure and Line reveals the scope of LeWitt’s career. The exhibition includes drawings from as early as 1968 and as recently as 2005; structures (a term the artist prefers for his three-dimensional works), including examples of his “open cube” series which developed over several decades; and gouache paintings from 1986 to 2005. A group of new Scribble drawings will be on public view for the first time. The exhibition also includes an early drawing from a landmark series that was the basis of the artist’s first wall drawing.

Today's News

December 22, 2007

Collaborative Exhibition Between Cincinnati Art Museum and CAC Features Sol LeWitt

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