Sol LeWitt | Central Campus

Sol LeWitt

Bars of Color within Squares (MIT), 2007


5,500 square feet

Commissioned with MIT Percent-for-Art Funds

Over the course of his career, Sol LeWitt created an extensive body of permanent and temporary drawings executed directly on the wall. He often extended his vision into public spaces, making “drawings” in many materials on floors, ceilings, patios, walls and sidewalks. In many of his works color played a vital role, from exuberant to subtle, in defining space and creating atmosphere, bringing life to rigorously defined shape and line.

For Building 6C, housing the Physics department, LeWitt designed Bars of Color within Squares (MIT), a vibrantly colored floor for the U-shaped atrium of the building. The work covers the entire floor, some 5,500 square feet, and consists of 15 18-foot squares of brightly colored geometric patterns, which shift ambiguously between flatness and the illusion of depth, set off by bands of white and gray. Its bold colors, carried out in glass and epoxy terrazzo, were poured in place.

The atrium floor is visible from many viewpoints in the building, which is connected to surrounding buildings by a series of walkways on the upper floors.

Bars of Color within Squares (MIT) was commissioned through MIT’s ongoing Percent-for-Art program.

It is one of Sol LeWitt’s last public works.

Building Number: 6C

Accession Number: PFA.2007.001