Untitled from Squares with a Different Line Direction in Each Half Square
1971. One from a portfolio of ten etchings, plate: 7 5/16 x 7 5/16" (18.6 x 18.6 cm); sheet: 14 1/2 x 14 1/2" (36.8 x 36.8 cm)
The instructions Sol LeWitt gave for making Untitled from Squares with a Different Line Direction in Each Half Square are in the title of the work. Using sets of instructions, or what LeWitt called “operational diagrams” for others to follow in order to create the work of art, LeWitt hoped to eliminate the self-expression traditionally valued in art.
Furthermore, he was not interested in the beauty of the final drawings. He said, “If I give the instructions and they are carried out correctly, then the result is OK with me.”1 His work aims to appeal to viewers’ intellect rather than their sense of beauty. Using instructions to create lines, he believed, had as much weight as any image.
A representation of a person or thing in a work of art.
A work of art made with a pencil, pen, crayon, charcoal, or other implements, often consisting of lines and marks (noun); the act of producing a picture with pencil, pen, crayon, charcoal, or other implements (verb, gerund).
A long mark or stroke.
A facial aspect indicating an emotion; also, the means by which an artist communicates ideas and emotions.
Although he was interested in all aspects of a work’s creation, from the initial idea to its final execution, LeWitt often hired assistants to execute wall drawings according to his instructions, likening his role as artist to that of a composer of music rather than a performer.
VIDEO: A behind-the-scenes look at the installation of Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings for Focus: Sol Lewitt at MoMA