LeWitt's work emerged alongside the Minimalist and Conceptual art movements of the 1960s, and combines qualities of both. Like the Minimalists, he often uses simple basic forms, in the belief that "using complex basic forms only disrupts the unity of the whole"; like the Conceptualists, he starts with an idea rather than a form, initiating a process that obeys certain rules, and that determines the form by playing itself out. The premise of Serial Project demands the combination and recombination of both open and closed enameled aluminum squares, cubes, and extensions of these shapes, all laid in a grid. Both intricate and methodical, the system produces a visual field that gives its viewers all the evidence they need to unravel its logic.
In a text accompanying Serial Project, LeWitt wrote, "The aim of the artist would not be to instruct the viewer but to give him information. Whether the viewer understands this information is incidental to the artist; he cannot foresee the understanding of all his viewers. He would follow his predetermined premise to its conclusion avoiding subjectivity. Chance, taste, or unconsciously remembered forms would play no part in the outcome. The serial artist does not attempt to produce a beautiful or mysterious object but functions merely as a clerk cataloging the results of his premise."
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 272.