Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sol Lewitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective

Thomas Martin in North Adams, MA

While upstate at the Millay Colony, a fellow resident and I made our way to Mass MOCA, home to, among other things, Sol Lewitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, which covers almost 40 years of the artist's signature works. I don't know how to describe the size of this exhibition without sounding like I'm exaggerating but I'll try: Imagine emptying 3 floors of the Whitney and filling them with a maze of walls covered with squares, straight and squiggly lines, splotches, loops, etc.

Making your way to Western Mass for this show is like taking a pilgrimage to the church of Sol Lewitt. The difference between this church, and the churches of the old pilgrimages, is that in place of a few unverified fragments of bone and splinters of wood, Building 7, where the retrospective is housed, has something like 100 manifestations of the artist's drawing instructions. These relics of Saint Sol can be authenticated via the artist's official certificates, one of which is one display.

The retrospective is up for 25 years, so I figure I can make a few more pilgrimages before 2033.

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