Sol LeWitt and his affinity for Australian art – City Hub Sydney


Sol LeWitt Tangled bands 2002 gouache on paper 95.5 x 125.5 cm sheet John Kaldor Family Collection © Estate of Sol LeWitt/ARS. Copyright Agency Photo © AGNSW User Sym error: “” is not a valid field.

Iconic works by American artist Sol LeWitt are featured alongside traditional paintings by Anmatyerre artists Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Gloria Tamerre Petyarre in an inspired new exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Sol LeWitt: affinities and resonancespresented in collaboration with Kaldor Public Art Projects, will feature a selection of works from the prolific and highly influential 20e Artist of the Century, LeWitt.

Installation view in progress of Sol LeWitt ‘Wall drawing #955, Loopy Doopy (red and purple)’ 2000 in the John Kaldor Family Hall at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, first drawn by Paolo Arao, Nicole Awai, Hidemi Nomura, Jean Shin, Frankie Woodruff at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, November 2000; current installation designed by Kit Bylett, Andrew Colbert, Troy Donaghy, Szymon Dorabialski, Gabriel Hurier, Rachel Levine, Owen Lewis, Nadia Odlum, Tim Silver, Alexis Wildman at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, August 2022 © Estate of Sol LeWitt/ ARS, Copyright Agency, photo © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Christopher Snee

LeWitt’s output was considerable. Born in 1928, he gained wide recognition in the 1960s with his brightly colored abstract murals and architectural sculptures which he called structures.

He is widely considered to have founded the movements of minimalism and conceptual art.

When LeWitt first encountered the paintings of indigenous artists from the central Australian desert, particularly Kngwarreye, he was drawn to them, finding an affinity with the artworks.

This exhibition explores the similarities between the works, placing them in physical proximity and revealing a strange and improbable parallelism.

A centerpiece – LeWitt’s “Wall drawing #955: loopy doopy (red and purple), 2000” – is also the inspiration for three musical compositions specially commissioned for this exhibition. To compose each piece, a different Australian Aboriginal musician and an American musician were paired: Chuck Johnson with JWPATON; Steve Gunn with Amby Downs; and Claire Rousay with E. Fishpool.

Sol LeWitt Irregular Grid 2001, gouache on paper, 76.1 x 101.5 cm John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales © Estate of Sol LeWitt

“The new music spans multiple genres – at times expansive and singular at others. The padded vibe collides with rhythmic, glitchy harmonies and melodies as cluster chords disorient and swirl in sync with the ‘waves’. ”doopy harsh (purple/red),” says Jonathan Wilson, Curator, Music and Community at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Portrait of Sol LeWitt in La Jolla, California, 1979. Image courtesy of LeWitt Estate

He describes the upcoming musical compositions and live performances as a “sound bridge between the visual works in the exhibition…completing a visual and musical experience in synergy.”

The musicians will perform at the Art Gallery of NSW during the exhibition and the music will also be available via a QR code to listen to anytime.

Sol LeWitt: affinities and resonances

August 27, 2022 – February 12, 2023

Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Rd, Sydney


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