Sol LeWitt was born in 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut. He received a BFA from Syracuse University in 1949 and was then drafted in the Korean War in 1951. After the war, LeWitt moved to New York City, where he studied at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, while working for Seventeen Magazine, making paste-ups, mechanical and Photostats, before he was hired as a graphic designer in I. M. Pei’s architecture firm.
In the early 60s LeWitt became acquainted with the artists Dan Flavin, Robert Ryman, Lucy Lippard, and Robert Mangold. After being introduced to the works of Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, and Robert Rauschenberg, Lewitt drew influence from the Russian Constructivists’ idea of making utilitarian art in an industrialized age, but especially from Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic series of sequential studies of motion.
LeWitt’s work from the early 60s, works on canvas coated with thick gestural oil paint, each featured one of Muybridge’s figures in motion. LeWitt’s three dimensional structural works from the mid to late 60s – such as Serial Project, Three Part Variations on Three Different Cubes, and hundreds of sculptures made of open white cubes – grew out of this interest in the series. In the late 60s, Sol LeWitt began developing his iconic wall drawings.
In the late 70s, after his first retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and after numerous years of exhibiting in Italy, LeWitt moved to Spoleto in Italy. In 1983, inspired by the frescos of Fillipo Lippi, Giotto, and Masaccio, LeWitt’s art underwent a major transformation as he began to experiment with India ink and color ink washes.
His solo exhibitions include, among many others, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Netherlands (2008), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (2005), and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco (2004).
The artist died in 2003 in New York City.