Sol Lewitt: An Interview

1977 | 00:46:00 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Interviews, Single Titles

Tags: Blumenthal/Horsfield Interviews, Interview, Politics

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American, minimalist painter Sol Lewitt (1928-2007) used the grid as a foundation for his many artworks. Seeing himself in the role of architect or composer, Lewitt was most concerned with the concept behind the piece rather than the final product. His geometrical compositions stripped away extraneous information and presented the bare essentials. His prolific two and three-dimensional work ranged from Wall Drawings, over 1100 of which have been executed, to photographs and hundreds of works on paper and extends to structures in the form of towers, pyramids, geometric forms, and progressions. LeWitt helped revolutionize the definition of art in the 1960s with his famous notion that “the idea becomes a machine that makes the art.”

In this 1977 interview, describes breakthrough encounters with the work of Edward Muybridge and Jasper Johns that facilitated his transition from a painterly practice to serial sculptures and wall drawings. In the conversation Lewitt emphasizes a flexibility of methods, possibilities, and concepts. He also addresses his relationship with art’s commercial markets. “The artist is seen like a producer of commodities, like a factory that turns our refrigerators…I believe that the artist’s involvement in the capitalist structure is disadvantageous to the artist and forces him to produce objects in order to live,” Lewitt says in this interview with Kate Horsfield.

A historical interview originally recorded in 1977 and re-edited in 2003 with support from the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund.