One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Sol LeWitt refused to become an art personality. This doco honours his wish, exploring the conceptual basis of his work and celebrating its spectacular realisation.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
The great American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, who died in 2007, never attended openings or allowed any catalogue of his work to contain his photograph. Perfectly attuned to the modus operandi of its subject, this beautiful documentary celebrates his work and explores its execution while barely showing us the man himself. We get no closer personally than seeing his studio, visiting his home in Spoleto, Italy, and hearing a few recordings in which he expounds the conceptual basis of his practice. To LeWitt the idea was the creative act, and his oeuvre consists largely of detailed instructions about how his ideas for powerfully geometrical, site-specific sculptures and wall paintings should be realised. While showing us a stunning array of those works – many of them in public spaces – Chris Teerink’s film also follows the construction of one especially remarkable piece – Wall Drawing 801: Spiral – on the interior wall of a vast, bell-shaped room in a Dutch museum. “Both an accessible introduction and a piece of advanced criticism, Sol LeWitt will help you understand the art it depicts and allow you to appreciate those aspects of it that surpass understanding.” — A. O. Scott, NY Times