Artist Series – Sol LeWitt

Presented by Ira Sophia, this week online Art Jam Sessions presents Sol LeWitt, founder of Minimalism, art movement emerged in New York at early 1960s. But it was Conceptualism that made him a highly remarkable artist. He founded Conceptualism at the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s.

LeWitt was born in 1928 to a family of Jewish immigrants from Russia. His father died when he was 6 years old. He loved art since he was a kid, and pursued his interest in art at Wadsworth Atheneum.

He then graduated as BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from Syracure University, New York on 1948. He traveled to Europe on the next following year and was exposed to Old Master Paintings. Old Master is a tittle dedicated to artists and/or art educators who practiced in Europe at before year 1800. It was on the period of Gothic, renaissance, Baroque, Rococo up to Neo-Classicism and Romanticism.

Old Master Paintings

On 1950, LeWitt served at Korean War. He was sent to California, Japan, Korea and then back to New York on 1953, where he set up a studio on the Lower East Side, New York.

LeWitt Studio in Lower East Side, New York

He was experienced multiple influences on his art journey during 1960s. But few influences that I’d like to highlight includes:

Studied at the School of Visual Arts, where he learned in depth on Basic Element and Principles of Art. He learned about dot, line, shape, form, colour, texture, value, space, pattern&repetition etc. these qualities was important on his artworks later on. Sol LeWitt used lines, geometric solids, ratio, patterns, formulas, and permutations to create his modern structures and wall paintings.

He discovered the work of the late 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, whose studies in sequence and locomotion. This visual effect inspired LeWitt on making his artworks.

Worked as night receptionist and clerk at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York where he was exposed to fellow artists, currators and many other art influencers. He developed many project partners and group projects here.

Worked as a designer at Seventeen magazine, did paste-ups, mechanicals, and photostats.

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