Explore more Sol LeWitt
It’s in fine dining, where empty plates become works of art at restaurants across the globe. It’s in design, bringing everything from the fonts we use to clothes we wear to the spaces we inhabit down to their most essential forms. And it’s in electronic music, where simple sounds are layered into loops that are then layered into a soaring choir of one.
As a founder of Conceptual and Minimalist Art in the 1960s, Sol LeWitt set out to challenge his generation of artists and the way things had always been done.
We all wanted to re-invent art; we thought that art had come to a dead end… We wanted to do something that started from ground zero.
He ended up challenging us all to rethink what makes something art in the first place. When we encounter his larger-than-life geometric wall drawings today, they still feel distinct, surprising, and bold. We can’t help but wonder:
Why did he make them? And how?
Unlocking the artistic process
And those are the questions LeWitt would’ve wanted us to ask, focusing on the idea and process of art rather than just the final product. His wall drawings—perhaps his most famous works—each come with an intricate set of instructions for installation that need to be followed precisely. This makes them unique to each location and moment in time, and also inherently collaborative.
This was “a very political gesture for him,” says Lindsay Aveilhé, a New York-based curator who’s edited several books on Sol LeWitt. “He believed anyone can be an artist—that he and those who assisted him would become collaborators in making the art and, in that way, the art becomes more democratic.”
Sol LeWitt App
The Sol LeWitt App—curated by Aveilhé and created by Microsoft in partnership with the LeWitt estate—seeks to capture that democratic spirit, making his life, work, and artistic process accessible to all. The app offers never-before-seen footage of Lewitt’s process, a chance to virtually tour his private studio, and an AI tool that unlocks a trove of information by scanning his wall drawings all over the world. Available now on the Microsoft Store, Apple App Store and Google Play.