The Jewish Museum of Belgium presents a unique exhibition of Sol LeWitt
Press release - For immediate release
Wall drawings, works on paper, structures (1968 – 2002)
From 3 December 2021 to 31 July 2022
Jewish Museum of Belgium
The Jewish Museum of Belgium is pleased to present a new exhibition dedicated to the American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007). The exhibition is organised by Barbara Cuglietta and Stephanie Manasseh in collaboration with the artist's estate.
Through a unique selection of wall drawings, works on paper, gouaches, structures and archival material from the 1960s to the 2000s, this exhibition highlights the diversity and unity in Sol LeWitt's prolific output. It will present a double 'premiere': an exploration of his Jewish heritage and an investigation of his links with Belgium. It will also be accompanied by the launch of the new Sol LeWitt application created by Microsoft.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, to a family of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Solomon (Sol) LeWitt was a pioneer of conceptual and minimal art, known in particular for his Wall Drawings. Although he was not religious, leading a secular life, Sol LeWitt did maintain a discreet but persistent link with his Jewish heritage throughout his life. In the 1990s, he became more actively involved in his community in Chester, Connecticut, designing the new synagogue of the Reform Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, which was opened in 2001. For Sol LeWitt, the design of a synagogue was "a problem of geometric forms in a space that conforms to ritual usage". With the help of archives, drawings, photographs and testimonies, the exhibition explores the genesis of this major project, which has remained little known to the general public until now.
The exhibition also addresses another forgotten aspect of Sol LeWitt's career: the close relationships that the artist developed throughout his career with collectors, gallery owners and artists based in Belgium. Amongst other things, Wall Drawing #138, first produced in Brussels in the MTL gallery - which played a pioneering role in the introduction of conceptual art in Belgium - will be presented, as well as Sol LeWitt's collaboration with the architect Charles Vandenhove on the design of the University Hospital in Liège.
All the works shown in the exhibition come from Belgian public and private collections, as well as from the LeWitt Collection. As for the Wall Drawings, installed directly on the walls of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, the installation is an exceptional participatory experience, bringing together young artists and art students based in Brussels alongside professional draughtsmen from the LeWitt studio. For each wall drawing, teams are formed around a professional assistant who works alongside and guides their local apprentices. This educational initiative is a unique opportunity for them to be involved in the creative process of one of the greatest American artists.
Finally, the exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Belgium is the occasion to launch in Belgium an application for smartphones dedicated to the artist and his work, developed by Microsoft with the LeWitt Collection. In keeping with Sol LeWitt's desire to make art accessible to all, this application will offer visitors a unique immersive and educational experience.
A word from the curators
"The voice of the Jewish Museum of Belgium is that of a place that tells stories, and through the stories told in the exhibition Sol LeWitt. Wall drawings, works on paper, structures (1968 – 2002), the way in which secularism and spirituality can meet within Judaism will be highlighted, as well as the power of personal relationships in artistic creation."
"I had the pleasure of spending time at the Sol LeWitt Foundation, at Yale University and with Sol's family, his wife Carol and daughter Sofia, who offered me a wonderful insight into the artist's life. As a North American Jewish woman, I feel honored to present his work in my host country, Belgium, for a first exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, offering the visitor an exploration of his life."
Wednesday 1 December 2021, 11am
Please confirm your attendance via mail to [email protected]