JGM. Galerie is pleased to present an exhibition dedicated to the American artist Sol Lewitt, from January 20 to March 10, 2012.
After studying art at Syracuse University, Sol Lewitt worked as a graphic designer for architect I. M. Pei. This experience in architecture marked his later work, in which the concept, project and preparatory drawing are more decisive than the production itself.
In 1965, Sol Lewitt exhibited his first modular sculptures in New York. These constructions consisted of ordered and multiple cube shapes, corresponding to a guideline of geometric progression defined by the artist. These works betray Lewitt's debt to Minimal artists. The sculptures are placed at ground level, putting in question classical sculpture and its use of pedestals. The shapes are as spare and clean as possible, and simply painted in black or white, producing a work which is expressively and emotionally neutral. First linked to Minimal art, Sol Lewitt later became one of the founders of Conceptual art, with his books Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967) and Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969). In the former, Lewitt theorized his practice and that of other conceptual artists: "In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art."
The exhibition at JGM. Galerie showcases a modular cube structure entitled 1 2 3 2 1 (Cross), 1980. The work is emblematic of the Serial Structures, which Lewitt developed from the 1970s to the large Open Cubes of the late 90s. It features the linear repetition of a sole cubic block, following a guideline defined by the artist. Together with this work, two sets of gouache drawings are on display. One, dated 1986, displays variations on a pyramid shape. The second set, produced around 2003, comprises a series of drawings based on a succession of undulating colored lines (Horizontal Brushstrokes, 2003 and Lines in Color, 2004).
Sol Lewitt's work has been showcased in the most important institutions and foundations (Museum of Modern Art, 2009; Whitney Museum, 2000; MNAM Centre Pompidou, 1994; Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, ARC, 1987 ...) and is present in the world's most prestigious collections.