drawing on our walls

our next show in san francisco, “wall drawing,” opens this saturday – the 20th.   it’s a group show exploring the practice of making art directly on the wall of the gallery.

sol lewitt began making making wall drawings in 1968.   those works were revolutionary.   lewitt asserted (not without art historical precedent) that the “art” is the idea.     to acquire a lewitt wall drawing meant you owned instructions for its installation.    the drawing could be executed on any wall, could be re-done if the owner wanted to move the piece and be executed by someone other than the artist himself.      inevitably, the artwork changes in each venue in which it’s executed because the wall, scale, proportions and context all affect the piece — that’s part of the artwork.

lewitt answered the basic sticking points regarding the (im)permanence, marketability and transferability of paintings on walls.   from that point, the possibilities seem endless.

the starting point of my show is two pieces from the 1970’s by sol lewitt.     this post is documentation of the first of those two pieces…

along with the sketch, the instructions — “six geometric figures (outlines) within six white geometric figures (outlines), superimposed”   — and that  the work is drawn with black crayon on a white wall.   not in the instructions, but conveyed by the lewitt estate — not just any black crayon, but a fancy crayon from switzerland.

after lots of wall prep, several coats of white (a specific shade made by benjamin moore) paint,  two full days of measuring, thread outlines taped on the wall and faint pencil marks,

the installing artists, amy and nobuko execute the artwork:

after the larger forms are drawn, the same configuration of six figures, gets superimposed, at a smaller scale:

Wall Drawing293
Six geometric figures (outlines) within six white geometric figures (outlines), superimposed
Black crayon
First Drawn by: Tim Hennigan, Sol LeWitt
First Installation: University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
September, 1976

beautiful, isn’t it?!    one down, the harder one to go…