The Jewish Museum of Belgium is pleased to present a new exhibition devoted to the American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928-2007). The exhibition is curated by Barbara Cuglietta and Stephanie Manasseh in collaboration with the artist's estate.
Through a unique selection of Wall Drawings, works on paper, gouaches, structures and archives dating from the 1960s to the 2000s, this exhibition aims to highlight diversity and unity in the prolific production of Sol LeWitt. It will present a double “first”: an exploration of his Jewish heritage and an investigation of his links with Belgium. It will also be accompanied by the launch of the new Sol LeWitt application created by Microsoft.
Born in Hartford (Connecticut) into a family of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Solomon (Sol) LeWitt is one of the pioneers of conceptual and minimal art, renowned in particular for his Wall Drawings. Although he was not religious, leading a secularized life, Sol LeWitt maintained discreet but tenacious ties with his Jewish heritage throughout his life. In the 1990s, he became more actively involved in his community in Chester (Connecticut) until he designed the new synagogue of the Reformed Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, which was inaugurated in 2001. For Sol LeWitt, the design of A synagogue was “a problem of geometric shapes in a space that conforms to the uses of the ritual”. Using archives, drawings, photographs and testimonials, the exhibition explores the genesis of this major project, which until now has remained little known to the general public.
The exhibition also addresses another forgotten aspect of Sol LeWitt's career: the close relationships that the artist has developed throughout his career with collectors, gallery owners and artists based in Belgium. Will be presented, among others, the Wall Drawing #138, produced for the first time in Brussels in the MTL gallery - which played a pioneering role in the introduction of conceptual art in Belgium -, but also the collaboration of Sol LeWitt with the architect Charles Vandenhove for the development of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège.
All the works shown in the exhibition come from Belgian public and private collections, as well as from the LeWitt Collection. As for the realization of the Wall Drawings, directly on the walls of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, it is an opportunity for an exceptional participatory experience, bringing together alongside professional designers from the LeWitt studio, young artists and plastic art students based in Brussels. For each wall drawing, teams are formed around a professional assistant who accompanies and guides the apprentices. This educational initiative is a unique opportunity for them to be associated with the creative process of one of the greatest American artists.
Finally, the exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Belgium is an opportunity to launch in Europe a smartphone application dedicated to the artist and his work, developed by Microsoft with the LeWitt Collection. True to Sol LeWitt's desire to make art accessible to everyone, this application will offer visitors a unique immersive and educational experience.
[translated from the French]