Sol LeWitt (American, 1928–2007) is renowned as a founding member of both Minimalist and Conceptual art. LeWitt attended classes at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut as a youth, and then received a BFA from Syracuse University. After serving in the United States Army in Korea, he moved to New York in the early 1950s, took classes in illustration, and worked as a graphic designer for several magazines and for architect I.M. Pei. In the 1960s LeWitt began creating two- and three-dimensional works using the cube, varying its form through systems based on language, mathematics, and other structures. LeWitt began exhibiting his work regularly as a leader among an emerging group of Minimalist artists. His works included sculptures based on the cube, and his late 1960s “wall drawings,” in which he drew lines in pencil along gallery walls, first in verticals and horizontals, and later in complex structures of circles and arcs, painted in color with the help of assistants.
LeWitt’s work also reflects an interest in repetition and serial pieces, which he frequently uses as a way to convey the passage of time or a storyline. In addition to his sculptures, wall drawings, and two-dimensional works, LeWitt created many artists’ books, and co-founded the organization Printed Matter, which publishes and circulates artists’ books to the greater public. LeWitt moved from New York to Spoleto, Italy in 1980, and in later years worked on wooden cinderblock sculptures and large wall drawings with acrylic paint. LeWitt has held solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Stedelijik Museum in Amsterdam, among other venues. He has also exhibited his work at several documenta exhibitions in Kassel, Germany, and at several Venice Biennale shows. LeWitt died in New York in 2007, at 87 years old.