April 10, 2007

Sol LeWitt, Dematerialized.

Sol LeWitt has passed away, an end of an era. Christopher Knight has an obit in the LATimes here, the Chicogo Tribune here, and the NYTimes' Michael Kimmelman here.

I have long thought that the fruit of the postmodern tree was the conceptual. Sol LeWitt is the exemplar of conceptualism. From Be Mistrustful of History:

I love the Lawrence Weiner quote: "We had to question the answers given to us in school." Artists at the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties questioned the answer of high modernism and flipped it on its head. A true revolution, Coprenican, like the invention of zero or negative integers. A cone of innovation reached an apotheosis and disappeared at its zenith. And what appeared was a raging mountain stream, a torrent of innovation that prized the conceptual over the material. Pop was followed by the Minimal, followed by the Conceptual, followed by Theory. The fruit of the postmodern tree was the conceptual, to be sure (Sol LeWitt, as far as I'm concerned). Art had to be dematerialized. It had to be in its essence, an idea. The stream flowed and broadened over time into a grand and stately river, soon into a slow and wide delta. That is where we are now: silted, fetid, and oozing out to sea, to be evaporated into oceanic clouds, ferried along the winds to mist the mountaintops.

Posted by Dennis at April 10, 2007 7:29 AM

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