Sol
LeWitt

(1928–2007)

Year created:
1989
3-Pointed Star, 4-Pointed Star, 6-Pointed Star, 9-Pointed Star, Sol LeWitt
Click images for larger view

49" x 41" x 41," 47" x 48" x 48', 47" x 48" x 48," 46 1/2" x 48" x 48"

Painted Aluminum
Courtesy of the LeWitt Collection, Chester, CT

No longer on view.

Sol LeWitt is an art historical figure of great stature, a founder of both Minimalism and Conceptual Art in the 1960s. LeWitt and his fellow artists set new priorities for art which aimed to direct it beyond the highly personalized content and psychologically loaded brushwork typifying the dominant Abstract Expressionist style of the previous decade. In his seminal 1967 text,Paragraphs on Conceptual Art, LeWitt coined the title term to describe artistic production where the idea itself is more important than the object. "In conceptual art…the idea becomes the machine that makes the art…All of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair." The authority of the artist's hand, and the messiness of ego, would thus be erased.

In LeWitt's recent works, concept remains preeminent over object. The Pointed Star series is a multi-part investigation into sequence and seriality, a carefully calculated idea worked through to its logical conclusion. Each sculptural unit, coolly stripped of color and texture, and held constant in size and scale, is formally connected to the next faceted permutation. Yet, in his manipulation of the symbolically charged "star" shape, LeWitt admits readings with nuances beyond the formal austerity of pure geometry. The viewer would, for instance, be hard pressed to discount the historical and religious connotations of the six-pointed "Star of David", or of the nine-pointed star that figures in the Islamic tradition.