SOL LEWITT PRESENTED BY RUDOLF STINGEL

Milan / January 27 —March 11, 2010

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The 27th of January Massimo De Carlo Gallery inaugurates Sol LeWitt presented by Rudolf Stingel. The artist confronts himself with one of the masters of Minimalism and Conceptual art, deceased in 2007, giving life to a retrospective that is, in itself, an homage to one of the most representative and influent artists of the second half of the twentieth century.

Two wall drawings open the exhibition, totally filling the walls of the first room. Wall Drawing #386 consists in a series of seven stars, whose tips progressively grow from three to nine. Dated 1983, this drawing is made with Indian ink and underlines the interest of the artist for geometry in its endless expressions. In the early 1970’s Sol LeWitt starts using the arches, and the work Wall Drawing #546 (1987) clearly attests it: dark curves, around 20 cm wide, that depart from a single centre and expand themselves through the white wall, encompass and include angles and corners.

The works installed in the following room correspond to two crucial moments in Sol LeWitt’s career. Wall Drawing #137 was done directly by the artist (often LeWitt entrusted the making of his works to a team of assistants, although he supervised the work in all the stages of realization) in occasion of documenta 5, Interrogation of Reality – Picture Worlds Today, directed by Harald Szeemann. A series of horizontal and vertical lines sign two opposite walls: the lines, pencil-traced, never meet. In 1984, in the retrospective Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings 1968 – 1984, at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, he presented Wall Drawing #365: a square divided in four equal parts, each with a diverse percentage of black. This work attests a new technical period in which Sol LeWitt prefers the use of Indian ink to pencil or pastel.

In the last room there is White Styrofoam on a gray wall (two walls). Irregular, polystyrene forms placed according to precise instructions are put on the wall in a way that allows the viewer to see the gray background: the artist reveals his interest in solid geometrical structures, treating them in a sculptural and casual way. The whole work, and in particular the polystyrene, used in diverse occasions by Stingel, creates an ideal connection between the two artists, introducing the viewer to Untitled by Rudolf Stingel, the portrait of the young Sol LeWitt during the Korea War (1950-1953). Portraits and self-portraits often appear in Rudolf Stingel’s work: they are paintings that reproduce in the minimal details old images or photographs (there is a very recent series of canvasses that represent images of medieval statues of Saints). This work - as well as Alpino, 1976 (2006), a self-portrait that reproduces an image of the artist during his military service – ideally belongs to a wider cycle of works, in progress, in which are depicted very young artists, before they become known.