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Drawing an Acre of Beauty

For two month this past summer artists, apprentices, and students converged on Building 7 at Mass MoCA, in North Adams, Massachusetts, with pencils, markers, crayons, and acrylic paints. They created 105 fantastic wall drawings, following the exact specifications of the late great artist Sol LeWitt, under the direction of LeWitt's long-time studio assistant Anthony Sansotta, who has overseen many of the artist's installations around the world.

The large drawings, were meticulously applied directly, to nearly an acre wall space, creating a mesmerizing feast for the eyes and heart as you stroll through the galleries, beginning with the pencil drawings on the first floor, ink on the second, to the bold colored acrylic works on the third.

With patience, what may seen as bland repetitive lines become whole, countless possibilities find an orderly calmness. When I entered the lobby of MoCA the day of my visit, I met two friends I hadn't seen in several years. It turns out they had traveled a similar path as I did, from Baltimore to Albany, Vermont, to North Adams to see the exhibit. Was this all coincidence or an inevitability that our paths would at some point intersect? We've all had these experiences, and LeWitt's explorations for me are linear mappings, making sense of and creating great beauty out of infinite possibilities.

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective should be a point in your orbit, but hurry -- it's only up for the next 25 years (through 2033)!

Also at MoCA through April is Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape, a 20-artist exhibit including Mike Glier, whose work I haven't seen since he participated in a show I curated many years ago. Fate? I think not, and his new paintings are gorgeous!

More photos on my Flickr, a group Flickr, from Holland Cotter at the New York Times, and on Vimeo.

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