Magazine Home  |  News  |  Features  |  Reviews  |  Books  |  People  |  Horoscope  
Back to Reviews 97


david ebony's new york top ten

sol lewitt
at ace

May 17-Aug. 1997

Sol Lewitt
The Wall Paintings

   This exhibition is the first in New York of Sol LeWitt's "Wall Paintings." Executed by artisans following written instructions by the Minimalist maestro, the paintings are a logical development from his pivotal Conceptual Art project of the '60s, the "Wall Drawings."

The resulting mural-sized squares in black, white, gray, red, yellow and blue could hardly find a more effective venue than the cavernous spaces of Ace, where viewers are dwarfed by the looming monochromes. One room is painted floor-to-ceiling in black, matte paint above eye level and glossy below. A clear horizon line is formed where the contrasting textures meet. In a certain way these murals bring to mind the elegant simplicity and sleek geometry of so-called First Style ancient Roman painting.

In spite of LeWitt's use of severe colors and enormous scale, however, an element of quiet nostalgia permeates these paintings. The work evokes a simpler time and place, and recalls the idealistic promise of Minimalism that now may be already lost.