Sol LeWitt Six Geometric Figures (+ Two) (Wall Drawings) 1980–1

Artwork details

Artist
Sol LeWitt 1928–2007
Title
Six Geometric Figures (+ Two) (Wall Drawings)
Date 1980–1
Medium Chalk and vinyl emulsion paint on wall
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1980
Reference
T03100
On loan to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams, USA)

Catalogue entry

T03100 ON FOUR BLACK WALLS, WHITE VERTICAL PARALLEL LINES, AND IN THE CENTRE OF THE WALLS, EIGHT GEOMETRIC FIGURES (INCLUDING CROSS, X.) WITHIN WHICH ARE WHITE HORIZONTAL PARALLEL LINES. THE VERTICAL LINES DO NOT ENTER THE FIGURES 1980–1

Wall drawing, not inscribed
White chalk or white crayon and matt black emulsion paint on wall surface, dimensions variable
Purchased from the Lisson Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1980
Exh: Daniel Buren, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Fred Sandback, Lisson Gallery, May 1980 (six figures only, no catalogue)
Lit: Sol LeWitt, Susanna Singer, Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings 1968–1984, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 1984, pp.115, 190, fig.335, repr.pp.110–111

This is the second wall drawing by Sol LeWitt to be acquired by the Tate. The first, a fifteen-part coloured drawing, first executed in 1970, has been fully catalogued by Ronald Alley in The Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, 1981 (T01766, pp.427–9).

When originally installed at the Lisson Gallery, where it was drawn by Jo Watanabe and David Connearn (artists who are authorized by Sol LeWitt to execute his wall drawings), this work comprised only six figures; three primary figures, circle, square, triangle and three secondaries, rectangle, trapezoid and parallelogram. The work was next installed at the Tate Gallery between April and May 1980. On this occasion, David Connearn was assisted by Michael Guy. LeWitt, who supervised the drawing in its early stages, decided to add two further figures to the sequence, a cross and an X, and gave the drawing the provisional working title ‘Six Geometric Figures (+ Two)’. At the Lisson Gallery, the work had been installed on three walls in the following sequence; square, circle, rectangle/triangle, trapezoid/parallelogram. At the Tate it was drawn on four walls of a gallery measuring 9 × 9 metres (30ft. square), two figures to a wall. Three of the walls measured 4.5 × 9 metres and the remaining wall 4.5 × 7 metres. The walls were first painted with black vinyl matt emulsion paint, upon which straight lines were then drawn with fine blackboard chalk. The distance between the parallel chalk lines was approximately 4cm. In this installation, seven of the eight figures were based on a square measuring 10 × 10 feet (3 × 3 metres); the rectangle measured 5 × 10 feet (1.5 × 3 metres).

The figures were positioned as follows: triangle trapezoid/square circle/rectangle parallelogram, and, on either side of the door, the cross and the X. The distance between each figure and between the figures and the outer edges of the walls was approximately 2 1/2 feet (76cm.).

The work's full title, as given above, gives the basic specification for the drawing. In reply to a request for rules governing the correct future installation of this work and the variants within which it can operate, the artist wrote to the compiler (letter, 27 May 1983): ‘The distance between the lines remains at 1 3/8in. (4cm.). The drawing always should be large and compensated by any architectural irregularities. If the wall height is 10’ or less, the figures can be shortened to 8'. The six figures are the circle, square, triangle, rectangle, trapezoid and parallelogram. The two added are cross and X, in that sequence if possible. The distance between the figures and the edge of the wall is variable. All lines within the figures are horizontal and parallel. All lines outside the figures are vertical and parallel. The drawing can exist with any number of the figures from one to eight but must be done in the same sequence if more than one is used. Any single figure may be used at any time. The cross and X could be used as a double but the first group [circle, square, triangle] should be kept together, also the second [rectangle, trapezoid, parallelogram]. They may be used separately. The drawing may be banked [a) circle, square, triangle (+) b) rectangle, trapezoid, parallelogram (x)].

'It may be loaned while still installed at the Tate by being drawn elsewhere. The drawing should be done by an experienced draftsperson. A white crayon may be used instead of white chalk - but the lines must be truly white. The crayon smudges less.’

In the catalogue raisonné of the wall drawings of Sol LeWitt published in 1984 (op. cit.) the descriptions of most of the wall drawings have been rewritten. In the past, Sol LeWitt has issued certificates of authenticity and ownership for all his wall drawings. The original certificate for T 03100 exists as four photographs showing the first installation at the Tate Gallery, signed by the artist. For consistency, LeWitt now proposes to issue new certificates to all owners of his drawings and the original certificates, while they may, in some cases, be considered as works in their own right, will no longer be considered as certificates of ownership. According to the catalogue raisonné (p.198), the 6 principal figures of T03100 have been used in the following drawings, nos.274, 287–8, 290, 292–7, 300, 301, 303–4, 312, 332, 335, 340–6, 349, 351, 359–60, 363, 370 and 372.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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