© Saskia Vanderstichele

Sol LeWitt in the Jewish Museum Amsterdam

On 30 October, the Jewish Museum launches an exhibition of work by Jewish American artist Sol LeWitt. The show features four of his massive wall drawings specially recreated here. Also on display are sculptures, art on paper and archive material. LeWitt was one of the founders of conceptual art: the notion that an idea is in itself art. The exhibition explores LeWitt’s Jewish background and his special connection with the Netherlands.

Wall drawings, cubes
Many see Sol LeWitt as the founder of both conceptual art and minimal art. He explained that art did not need to be executed by the artist, or anyone for that matter, the idea was in itself art.

LeWitt created over 1,200 wall drawings. He wrote precise instructions so that others could do the actual painting. For this exhibition, his instructions will be carried out by art students from Utrecht’s Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. The wall drawings are temporary and will be painted over when the show ends. The cube is the basic form in his spatial work. He called his sculptures of white cubes in everchanging constellations structures.

About Sol LeWitt (1928-2007)
Sol LeWitt was the son of Jewish migrants from Russia. He led a secular life, yet he also identified with his Jewish heritage. His wife Carol describes LeWitt as ‘a deeply observant non-believer’. He joined a Jewish community in the 1980s, for which he eventually designed and built a synagogue. His Jewish identity found expression in several relatively little-known projects featured in the exhibition.

Dutch museums, galleries, collectors and artists played a key role in Sol LeWitt’s career from the start. In 1970, his first solo show in Europe was at the Hague Municipal Museum, now the Kunstmuseum. At the time, LeWitt was also working with the famous international Art & Project gallery in Amsterdam. Many of his friends figured prominently in the Dutch art scene of the 1970s, such as conceptual artist Jan Dibbets, curator Enno Develing and designer Martin Visser.

This exhibition has been organised in cooperation with the Jewish Museum of Belgium.