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Sol LeWitt

American, 1928–2007

Sol LeWitt (American, 1928–2007). Maquette, 2005–06. Fiberboard with digital image on paper and styrene strip, 11 3/4 x 17 3/4 x 21 inches (29.8 x 45.1 x 53.3 cm). Gift of the artist, 2011.

Wall Drawing #1268: Scribbles: Staircase (AKAG), conceived 2006; executed 2010

Graphite on three walls
Dimensions variable
George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 2007

First Drawn by: Darren Adair, Takeshi Arita, Kyle Butler, Roshen Carman, Andrew Colbert, Cynthia Cui, Katharine Gaudy, Aviva Grossman, John Hogan, Ani Hoover, Gabriel Hurier, Roland Lusk, Amanda Maciuba, Allison Midgley, Alyssa Morasco, Joshua Turner

First Installation: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, October 2010

On View in the Stairwell Connecting the 1962 Building and the 1905 Building

In 1969, Sol LeWitt created a work of art at the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York by drawing directly on the wall, a revolutionary gesture that made a simple and humble graphite line into something as heroic as architecture itself. Since that time, thousands of LeWitt’s drawings have been installed directly on the surfaces of walls, using black pencil, India ink wash, Crayola crayons, Caran d’Ache pens, markers, snap lines, tissue paper, and even granite.

Discussions for the acquisition and installation of Wall Drawing #1268 for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery began in 2006. After sending representatives from his studio to the Albright-Knox, the artist chose the Gallery’s main stairwell—this great transitional space that connects the 1962 Knox building and the 1905 Albright building—as the site for the work, his largest scribble drawing.

Built up from thousands of graphite scribbles that cover more than 2,200 square feet of wall surface, the drawing was scribbled into existence over nine weeks. Working according to LeWitt’s instructions—Line, continuous gradation, and feel of steel—a crew of sixteen people scribbled for seven hours a day for fifty-four days between August and October 2010. The scribblers—artists from the LeWitt estate and the Western New York area—worked for a total of 5,026 hours and used 1,717 pencil leads.

While Wall Drawing #1268 is simple in concept, it represents not only a culmination of this highly influential artist’s methodology, but also his return to the simple graphite line at the end of his life and his career.

This wall drawing will be on view indefinitely.

This installation was organized by Curatorial Assistant Ilana Chlebowski.


Matthew Ritchie on Sol LeWitt (Video)

From August 10 to October 20, the installation of Wall Drawing #1268 was documented on the Gallery's blog. 

Related EventS

Scribble: A Monumental Celebration
Saturday, October 16, 2010, 7–11 pm

Donor Circles Salon Series: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Creation of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #1268
Thursday, February 3, 2011, 6–8 pm

Related Lesson Plan

PowerPoint for Educators

Related Exhibition

The exhibition REMIX: Sol LeWitt, which was on view in the Clifton Hall Link from August 7, 2010, through February 27, 2011, provided additional context for the wall drawing and reflected the Gallery's longstanding interest in collecting works in depth by this seminal artist.