In 1969, Sol LeWitt created a groundbreaking work of art by drawing directly on the wall. This revolutionary gesture transformed a simple graphite line into something as heroic as the architecture on which it was inscribed. Since that time, thousands of LeWitt’s wall drawings have been executed in a vast array of materials, from the humble pencil to Crayola crayons. The artist’s work challenged some of the most fundamental beliefs about the necessity of the artist’s hand in the creation of a work of art. Instead, LeWitt emphasized the idea (which came in the form of written instructions) rather than the final outcome.
Although Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG) was installed following the artist’s death, plans for the work and its location within the museum were completed during his lifetime. Built up from thousands of graphite marks that cover more than 2,200 square feet of wall surface, this drawing was scribbled into existence over the course of nine weeks by a crew of sixteen people, who labored for seven hours a day for fifty-four days between the months of August and October 2010. Following LeWitt’s set of directives—Line, continuous gradation, and feel of steel—it took a total of 5,026 hours and 1,717 pencil leads to complete this project.
Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017