Wavy Brushstrokes Superimposed #1

Media - 2010.34.1 - SAAM-2010.34.1_1 - 73503
Copied Sol LeWitt, Wavy Brushstrokes Superimposed #1, 1995, hand-drawn photo transfer with aquatint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, 2010.34.1, © 1995, The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Artwork Details

Title
Wavy Brushstrokes Superimposed #1
Artist
Publisher
River House Editions
Date
1995
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
sheet and image: 35 3835 38 in. (89.989.9 cm)
Copyright
© 1995, The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Credit Line
Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan
Mediums Description
hand-drawn photo transfer with aquatint on paper
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
2010.34.1

Artwork Description

Wavy Brushstrokes Superimposed #1 is part of a set of four serial images based on an idea with permutations determined by rules the artist contrived. LeWitt began with a drawing of wavy brushstrokes, which was then photographically transferred to several metal plates and printed as an aquatint. By varying the colors and the order in which the successive plates were printed, the images vary from one to the next while sharing a single basic format. The successive printing of plates allowed for multiple variations on a single image. The sumptuous surface, curvilinear design, and layered colors of these prints show the artist pushing beyond the geometric forms and straight lines for which his work is best known.

Multiplicity, 2011

New Acquisition Label

Known as one of the leading conceptualist and minimalist artists of the postwar period, Sol LeWitt created a vocabulary of form that derived from squares, cubes, and lines.  Repetition, sequences, and variations were integral to his imagery.  He frequently established rules by which an image would be created, leaving the actual execution to his assistants.

The series Wavy Brushstrokes is notable for its curvilinear movement and free-form strokes.  In contrast to the geometric forms and monochromatic tones that characterized much of his earlier work, LeWitt explored brilliant color combinations in his wall drawings and prints toward the end of his career.  For this sequence of images, LeWitt began with a matrix of gestural lines printed sequentially.  In the second, third, and fourth images of the set, he used the identical matrix of lines, but printed different colors in a different order, resulting in transparent overlays and evocative combinations.

Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2010