Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG), conceived 2006; executed 2010
If you missed AK Contemporary, a lecture and documentary film series focusing on contemporary artists on Friday, September 5, as part of M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY, read on to learn about the Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt and his installation on view at the Albright-Knox.
There is perhaps no one in the history of art that better embodied the notion of Conceptualism than Sol LeWitt. While playing a key role in formulating and defining what “Conceptualism” is in artistic terms, he also successfully and consistently incorporated the tenets of Conceptualism into his art and daily working practice.
Throughout his career, LeWitt created various types of works, including books, prints, wall drawings, and sculptures he called “structures.” His first wall drawing, created in 1969, involved the simple act of drawing lines on the wall of a New York gallery. The artist returned to a new form of wall drawing in the last years of his life. These later drawings, known as “scribble drawings,” are composed of hand-drawn graphite scribbles on a wall surface.
Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG), LeWitt’s scribble wall drawing currently on view in the stairwell that connects the 1962 Knox and 1905 Albright Buildings, holds the distinction of being the artist’s last and largest scribble drawing. While the discussions for the acquisition and installation of this work happened in 2006, along with the work’s initial conception by the artist, the work was executed in 2010, after the artist’s death, by a team of artists from LeWitt’s studio and a crew of artists hired by the Albright-Knox.
The work covers more than 2,200 square feet of wall surface and is composed of millions of scribbles created by 1,717 graphite pencils. It took sixteen artists fifty-four days, or 5,026 hours, to complete the work, which was unveiled on October 16, 2010, and will be on view indefinitely.
Sol LeWitt (American, 1928–2007). Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG), conceived 2006; executed 2010. Graphite on three walls, dimensions variable. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 2007. © 2014 The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Tom Loonan.