A Life of Ideas
The Driftless Connecticut Series & Garnet Books
Sales Date: 2019-04-02
An intimate portrait of a renowned conceptual artist
Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, upended traditional practices of how art is made and marketed. A key figure in minimalism and conceptualism, he proclaimed that the work of the mind is much more important than that of the hand. For his site-specific work—wall drawings and sculpture in dozens of countries—he created the idea and basic plan and then hired young artists to install the pieces. Though typically enormous and intricate, the physical works held no value. The worth was in the pieces of paper that certified and described them. LeWitt championed and financially supported colleagues, including women artists brushed aside by the bullies of a male-dominated profession. Yet the man himself has remained an enigma, as he refused to participate in the culture of celebrity. Lary Bloom's book draws on personal recollections of LeWitt, whom he knew in the last years of the artist's life, as well as LeWitt's letters and papers and over one hundred original interviews with his friends and colleagues, including Chuck Close, Ingrid Sischy, Philip Glass, Adrian Piper, Jan Dibbets, and Carl Andre. This absorbing chronicle brings new information to our understanding of this important artist, linking the extraordinary arc of his life to his iconic work. Includes 28 illustrations.
"A fascinating, detailed and moving account on the life and work of a truly genius artist. A must read for anyone interested in Art."~João Leonardo, artist
"Lary Bloom has scrupulously chronicled not only Sol's artistic development, but also his personal life and his ever-changing social milieu. The results are an insightful and intimate portrait of the artist, the man and his times."~Saul Ostrow, Founder of Critical Practices Inc.
"A remarkable narrative filled with history, biography, art criticism, gossip, behind-the-scenes chatter, and insight. Lary Bloom presents a LeWitt that most of us have never seen before: private, irreverent, passionate, generous, and deeply self-aware."~Bryan Wolf, Jones Professor, Emeritus, Stanford University
"With his crisp lines and rigorous geometries, Sol LeWitt can seem like the most impersonal of great 20th century artists. Somehow, Lary Bloom's biography manages to humanize the man, with tireless research, rich anecdotes and a playful sense of humor throughout."~Scott Timberg, author of Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class