Sol LeWitt Advice and Inspiration

Sol LeWitt letter to Eva Hesse

Recently I enjoyed a vid of the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch doing a reading of this very epistle, er, rather the full length edition of this. Sadly, he performed it in a LeWitt American voice, rather than his own wonderful version of the Queen's English. He struggles with the accent for the fist few lines but then settles in and gets it. Still, it's Benedict. Please enjoy it here:

My takeaway from this is threefold: 1. The magnificence that is Mr. Cumberbatch. 2. Life motto. 3. Sol is having a moment. 

Don't worry about cool

This might be my life's motto. Sure, I like cool, and yes, I have worried about cool. But I've never been 100% cool. I was never at the centre of the best cliques, but content to remain at the fringes, and along the way I've learned to make my own uncool. In high school I was brainy but not part of the brainy clique. If my life were the movies, I would be the girl usually played by Janeane Garofalo or Drew Barrymore, or Sarah Jessica Parker (Square Pegs era SJP, def pre SATC), the quirky friend. And here I am today, making my own world. Now here's a little more Sol.

Sol LeWitt Albright Knox Stairway walls

My first encounter with the work of Sol LeWitt was a couple of years ago a the Albright-Knox gallery in Buffalo, NY. We found Sol in the main stairway on the walls. Up close, this is a pattern of trillions of inky squiggles, but the effect from further away, seen here, is quite different. Fascinating.

I snapped this pic of the maquette next to the stairway to give an idea of the full effect. I think this would make an incredible fabric too. I'd upholster the walls of a screening room in it. If you have not been to the Albright-Knox you should fix that and get there. There's a Picasso exhibit coming up in November that looks like it will be great. But the main collection is worth the visit regardless. Notables in addition to LeWitt include Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning. But back to Sol.

This LeWitt work is called Wall Drawing No. 565 and was part of a 2013 exhibit at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. It covers three walls with seemingly random (though obv not) stripes. The optical illusion created by the bent lines is freaky and fun.

Sol was definitely a source of inspiration for Christian May in this wallpaper design he created with Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios  for this sensational small space bathroom. The pattern is called Memphis, so the '80s certainly had a say in this design as well. (BTW, did you hear about Bowie's Memphis collection going up for auction?).

photo: remi villaggi

photo: remi villaggi

Here's another work from the 2013 exhibit at the Pompidou. 

Florence Lopez

Here's a little corner of antiquarian Florence Lopez's Paris atelier in 2013. Lopez changes up her space every six months and I adore and pin everything I can find that she has done. Genius. See more of her atelier here. 

This is Sol LeWitt's Sphere Lit from Above at the Phoenix Art Museum.

We picked up this art poster print at The Frozen Fountain, an über cool design store in Amsterdam. The work is called Ball. It's by Heleen Klopper, Marsel Boermans and Anton Spruit and depicts an oversize felted wool ball. The print comes folded since the creases are intended to add to the dimension and texture of the final product.

Also on my recently acquired list are these two. On the left, a hardcover journal from Flying Tiger in Antwerp and on the right, black stripe fineliner markers from Hema in Amsterdam. My two fave Euro discount stores have enabled my inner Sol LeWitt so I am off to make my own uncool.