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Art Review: Sol LeWitt at L.A. Louver

February 10, 2011 |  7:15 pm

Back in 1967, Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) identified objects of Conceptual art as works that were “made to engage the mind of the viewer rather than his eye or his emotions.” The New York artist must not have been thinking clearly when he said that because his own art is all about engaging both the mind and the eye, with the emotions caught up in the mix. Sol LeWitt Installation

At L.A. Louver, a sharply focused show zeros in on LeWitt’s capacity to transform abstract ideas into concrete objects that viewers experience as slippery interminglings of drawing, painting and sculpture— while comparing and contrasting such physical entities with idealized images of geometric perfection, which inhabit the mind’s eye but never appear in the real world.

That’s the logic behind two masterpieces from 1974, both from LeWitt’s series of “Incomplete Open Cubes.”  These simple sculptures efficiently pit a viewer’s image of a perfect cube against the actual six-sided, approximately 4-foot-on-a-side form set unceremoniously on the floor, where it looks out-of-whack.

Sol LeWitt Incomplete Open Cube The only gallery without any sculpture in it embodies another one of the paradoxes that LeWitt’s art delights in: The space feels the fullest, as if it’s about to burst from the perceptual tug-of-war his wall paintings generate in your gut. Each depicts a rectangular volume, distorted to fit into LeWitt’s design, and then distorted even more to match the gallery’s dimensions.

The remaining works, three all-white structures and three multi-color gouaches, blur the boundaries between line and shape, line and space. They also show LeWitt at his best, making a mess of clear-cut distinctions between ideas and actuality by getting viewers emotionally involved with both.

 -- David Pagel

L.A. Louver, 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, (310) 822-4955, through Feb. 26. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.lalouver.com

Photos: Top, Sol LeWitt, installation view. Bottom, Sol LeWitt, "Incomplete Open Cube 9/2." Credit: L.A. Louver.


 
Comments () | Archives (7)

This exhibit exemplifies , once again, why artists such as: Hockney, Kosoff, Brice, Garabedian, Neel and many other important artists choose L.A. Louver as the gallery at which to represent their art. Furthermore, their staff are always professional, friendly and polite. We are very grateful to have them here to enrich our cultural community by taking the time to create museum grade exhibits as well as make each individual whom walks through their door as if they were their sole client.

In Gratitude,
Brent J. Michael,MD

Look Ma! They blew up Uncle Sol's coloring book!
Thats nice son.

Best wall paper designer in the business, as its not like he actually ever painted anything. Pretty cool, eh dude? Heh, pufpuf pass!

Nice ad too, doc. But creative artists look to enrichen our entire community.
ie Watts Towers(Nuestro Pueblo)
Mr Rodia put more work and passion in one day than uncle Sol did in his entire life.

“Back in 1967, Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) identified objects of Conceptual art as works that were “made to engage the mind of the viewer rather than his eye or his emotions.” The New York artist must not have been thinking clearly when he said that because his own art is all about engaging both the mind and the eye, with the emotions caught up in the mix.”

I agree with the artist. Sums up conceptual art to a “T”

The notion of enriching "the entire community" as Mr. Frazell hopes for, is illusory in these times, when there are different types of art for different publics. Sol Lewitt has (had) his public and I would not want to deprive them of their joy, which does not harm others. And note: Lacma got $.5 mil to restore the Watts Towers, so we can preserve that wonderful monument as well.

I always feel Ron Davis should be mentioned in relation to the wall paintings that look like boxes or a illusion of a box in space. The work he made through the 60s-70s gave a lot of artists permission to make those illusions ,Sol being one of many.

No one tries, the bar has been set so low as to allow the rebuilt academeis to sell degrees. Much more profitable if anyone can do it.

One must first have a sense of purpose, the rest will come according to the times and the artists participation in life and built visual vocabulary. Art is here, just not there in the artscene. Seek, and ye shall find.

And while the $500k is great, the Irvine Foundation does not repeat grants, its a one time deal. With the City already cutting back $150k a year, it makes up for three. But does not go forward unless it can be built upon.

But getting tours to the Towers is perhaps the most important thing. It is safe, it is close, it is Ours. And it is extraordinary creative art. Nothing like the folksy stuff the woman in hcarge at LACMA compares it to. those two things are colorless, and fantasy. this is real, it is of God. Check her out on their Unframed blog
http://lacma.wordpress.com/
They still dont get it, artistes, sheesh. The rest of us do.

art collegia delenda est

>re: John Doe comment:

Permission is (and was) granted. :-)

/ron


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