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artwork in Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories

2-3-1-1.
LEWITT, SOL
1994
west of building
aluminum, white paint
6'x6'
Click to display larger image of 2-3-1-1
 
Sol LeWitt is known internationally for complex, three-dimensional structures. Frequently described as a minimalist, he prefers the characterization of a conceptual artist, since he is most interested in the initial, generative idea of his work. He refers to his work as structure, rather than sculpture, as a means of distancing it from the relational and expressive qualities implied by that term. Many viewers have commented on the proportional relationship between 2-3-1-1 and Frank Gehry’s Advanced Technology Laboratories Building. It is true that LeWitt’s work appears to echo the basic forms and lines in Gehry’s huge windows, but 2-3-1-1 is an individual, isolated, abstract concept, seeking no relationship with its environment or its spectator. It further eschews the reference to the individual process by which it was fabricated. According to LeWitt, “the execution is a perfunctory affair… the idea becomes the machine that makes the art.”

Sol LeWitt was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and later attended Syracuse University. Geometrical relationships and cube structures have been a constant aspect of his art since the sixties, providing him with an endless combination of forms. The coolness and distance espoused by minimalist and conceptual artists such as LeWitt is, in part, a reaction to the emotionalism of earlier art, notably that of abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s.