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Sol LeWitt’s conceptual works installed for first time since the 1970s

Drawings defy time as they go on show in Santander's Botín Foundation

by Javier Pes  |  20 July 2015
Sol LeWitt’s conceptual works installed for first time since the 1970s
Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing 280, at the Botín Foundation, Sandander
First installation: Hallwalls, Buffalo, New York, January 1976
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, San Francisco, CA
A group of 17 wall drawings by Sol LeWitt were unveiled on 18 July at the Botín Foundation in Santander, northern Spain (until 10 January 2016). Many of the works have not been seen since they were made in the 1970s, and it is the first time one of them—Wall Drawing 7A (1969-2015)—has been fully installed. 

Benjamin Weil, the artistic director of the private foundation, is the co-curator of the exhibition along with John Hogan, Yale University Art Gallery's director of Installations and Archivist of wall drawings. "His work seems to have no temporality," Weil says. 

Infinitely reproduceable they may be, but choosing 17 works from among the 1,200 that the US Conceptual artist created was a curatorial challenge. "It was an interesting process," Weil admits, greatly helped by Hogan's knowledge of Yale's collection and the drawings LeWitt created from 1968 until 2007. They have focused on early works, although the show includes examples from the late 1990s.

Meanwhile, the Fundación Botín is building a Renzo Piano-designed cultural centre on Santander’s waterfront. Under construction since 2011, Weil says that good progress is being made. "It is very advanced," he says but the artistic director is still waiting for the architect and the contractors to confirm a completion date. "Maybe it's a year away, or a bit more," he says. 

See also Writing is definitely not on the wall for drawings

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