An Exchange with Sol LeWitt
MASS MoCA / Cabinet: Open call for a two-part Exhibition
The story of Sol LeWitt’s exchanges with other artists is by now widely known. Though most artists engage in this process at one point or another, LeWitt seemed fully committed to it as an artistic code of conduct, a way of life.
Eva Hesse, Robert Mangold, Hanna Darboven, and Robert Ryman are just a few of LeWitt’s celebrated contemporaries with whom the artist exchanged works. Such exchanges were not limited to well-known artists, however: LeWitt consistently traded works with admirers whom he did not know but who had nevertheless sent their work to him, as well as amateur artists with whom he interacted in his daily life. LeWitt’s exchanges-he responded to every work he received by sending back one of his own – fostered an ongoing form of artistic communion and, in some cases, a source of support and patronage. The Sol LeWitt Private Collection retains all of the works he received, as well as a record of what he offered in return.
For LeWitt, the act of exchange seemed to be not only a personal gesture, but also an integral part of his conceptual practice. In addition to encouraging the circulation of artworks through a gift economy that challenged the art world’s dominant economic model, LeWitt’s exchanges with strangers have the same qualities of generosity, and risk, that characterized his work in general. This kind of exchange was designed to stage an encounter between two minds, outside the familiar confines of friendship.
If we consider the process of exchange as another of Sol LeWitt’s instructional pieces, then the rational (or irrational) thing to do is to continue to exchange work and ideas, if only symbolically, with him.
This is a call to those who share an affinity with Sol LeWitt’s legacy as a conceptual artist, to those who knew him and those who did not – to anyone who has ever wondered, “What would Sol LeWitt like?”
Your gift to Sol LeWitt can take the form of an image, an object, a piece of music, or a film. Books, ephemera, and other non-perishable items (e.g. wine) are also welcome. Other ideas may be discussed with the curator.
- 2D contributions should be no larger than 8.5×11 inches;
- 3D contributions should be no larger than 12×12×12 inches.
All contributions will be exhibited at either Cabinet or MASS MoCA. The curator will notify you of the location of your contribution by 1 December 2010.
Contributions can be dropped off, mailed, emailed, or faxed between September 15th and October 15th to the mail address below.
A publication documenting the contributions will accompany the shows and will be presented at the conclusion of the project to all participants.
Please note that we cannot return your contribution. You can, however, pick it up at the end of the exhibition if prior arrangements have been made.
An Exchange with Sol LeWitt
300 Nevins Street
NY 11217 Brooklyn
fax: + 1 718 222-3700