For more than twenty years, Rice University Art Gallery has held a unique place as the only university gallery in the nation devoted to commissioning site-specific installation art. Artists early in their careers as well as artists of international reputation have constructed temporary works, each of which transformed the Gallery's signature "white box" space in a completely different way.
In spring 2017, Rice Gallery will come full circle by reinstalling one of its earliest installations, Sol LeWitt's Glossy and Flat Black Squares (Wall Drawing #813), 1997 as its closing exhibition. LeWitt (1928-2007), a leading figure in Minimalism and pioneer of Conceptual art, created the majestic work in response to Rice Gallery's architectural space. Like a musical score that exists on paper until it is played, LeWitt's Wall Drawing exists as a set of written instructions and can be re-created.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings may be of interest. Sol LeWitt, who once worked as a draftsman for I. M. Pei, has said of his own directions for drawings executed by collaborators that, "The contribution brought by the draftsman may not be predicted by the artist, even when the artist is also the draftsman." This separation of the plan, the written score for a work, from its execution and the finished piece lies at the center of the work for which LeWitt is best known, whose execution he entrusts to strangers. This book tracks the creation of one recent work, beginning with the plan, so spare that it looks as though it might have arrived at the gallery by fax, and continuing through to a schematic drawing on the wall, then figures on stepladders drawing intently, their faces clear but their pencils blurred. Close-ups of their scribbles and images of the completed work are followed by a picture of the triumphant cast, a curtain call.