After Dark | Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt

Wall Drawing #254 (White Lines From The Center Of A Yellow Wall To Specified Random Points), 1975

Black pencil descriptions, white crayon, yellow wall

Wall Drawing

Dimensions variable

Gift of Dorothy and Roy Lavine

An adventurous tour of MIT’s more remote buildings. Best followed in the evening so that night has fallen for the later pieces.

This tour was created by Joseph Faraguna, class of 2020, in Bioengineering and with a minor in Computer Science. Faraguna was a List Center Student Guide for all four years of his undergraduate career. 

Most famous for his abstract wall line drawings, LeWitt often wrote instructions detailing how to create his pieces but left the actual installation to others. For him, as with other conceptual artists, an artist was not necessarily responsible for the physical creation of a piece, just the idea behind it. For Wall Drawing #254, LeWitt instructed the draftsperson to write each line’s instruction alongside the pencil mark, laying bare the deeper piece. The instructions specify point locations that depend on the drawing’s placement. The previous installation of Wall Drawing #254 at another site was a separate, unique, and temporary version. As LeWitt wrote, “The wall drawing is a permanent installation, until destroyed.”

Building Number: E62

Accession Number: 2003.001

Audio Transcript

Sol LeWitt, one of the founders of conceptual art, believed in the significance of a works idea or concept over its material realization. As indicated by the title of this work, Wall Drawing #254, LeWitt made many wall drawings. His first in 1968, in pencil on plaster. For each, he created a system with a set of directions to be executed by himself or draftsperson.

Curator, Andrea Miller-Keller: "...saw himself determine where the lines would go. And he did this, not so much, by putting points on a sketch so that he knew where he would like to see the lines, no not at all. Instead, he wrote down directions that were in words and that would take him to a point. In each case, that was unexpected and not based on good design."

The placement of each endpoint is determined by the walls dimensions. The same wall drawing can be done in different places. And in each case, they take on some of the attributes of the location in which it's installed. It also will be installed very likely by different people. And for those who have worked with him a long time, they know how dark a pencil line should be. They know how firm a white chalk line should be.

LeWitt considered his wall drawings permanent installations. Permanent until destroyed, that is. If a wall drawing ever has to be relocated, the piece must be entirely redrawn. This work was first drawn in 1975, again, in 1990, and executed on the second floor of MIT Sloan in 2010. To hear more about LeWitt's other work at MIT, please press 826 and press pound.