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Beth Sorensen
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Famed critic Lucy Lippard to lecture on LeWitt on November 3

From November 3 through December 31, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College will present an exhibition of works by internationally renowned artist Sol LeWitt, a pioneer of the conceptual art movement.

Lucy R. Lippard--critic, cultural activist, and author of important articles and books on LeWitt and conceptual art--will lecture on LeWitt on Tuesday, November 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kaul Auditorium. (The previous press release gave an incorrect date of November 30.)

The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is open every day except Monday from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is in the library at the south side of Reed's campus. The #19 bus stops on Woodstock at the entrance to the campus near the library, and parking is available. For more information, please call 503/777-7790.

The exhibition will feature Wall Drawing #123 (first drawn in 1972) and Wall Drawing #716 (first drawn in 1993) and other works by the artist, including a small selection of LeWitt's works on paper. LeWitt wall drawings are always created on site for a specific period of time, following the artist's instructions. The drawings are then painted over when the exhibition is finished.

Wall Drawing #123 will be produced by Reed College students under the supervision of Reed professor of art Michael Knutson, gallery director Susan Fillin-Yeh, assistant curator Silas B. Cook, and Christopher Cook, former director of the Addison Gallery, who has worked closely with LeWitt. The drawing will be produced during the exhibition, offering viewers the opportunity to see in action the concepts and design of LeWitt's working process.

LeWitt's instructions for Drawing #123 are "the first draftsman draws a not straight vertical line as long as possible. The second draftsman draws a line next to the first one, trying to copy it. The third draftsman does the same, as do as many draftsmen as possible. Then the first draftsman, followed by the others, copies the last line until both ends of the wall are reached."

LeWitt wrote about this drawing that "The physical properties of the wall: height, length, color, material, and architectural conditions and intrusions, are a necessary part of the wall drawings. . . . The wall drawing is a permanent installation, until destroyed."

Sol LeWitt was born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut. Although of the same generation as artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, LeWitt first gained prominence in the early 1970s as one of the founders of the conceptual art movement, which was dominant toward the end of the Vietnam War. Conceptual art, Roy Ascott wrote, focuses on "what one is doing rather than the art work which results." LeWitt's works rely on a systematic approach and classical geometric components to stress the importance of reduced means, reduced emotional content, and a careful response to gallery space. LeWitt's work has been collected by major museums around the world. He recently represented the United States in the 1996 Sao Paulo Bienal in Brazil. New York's Museum of Modern Art will present a retrospective of his work next year.

The Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, owns the certificates of authenticity for the drawings and has granted permission to the Cooley Gallery to make the drawings.