Bars of Color within Squares (MIT), 2007
5,500 square feet
Commissioned with MIT Percent-for-Art Funds
This public art tour is an investigation of the space within and around the select pieces of public art on MIT’s campus. Walk around, through, and under pieces to find different relationships and perspectives.
This tour was created by Joe Faraguna, Class of 2020 in Bioengineering. Faraguna was a List Center Student Guide for all four years of his undergraduate career.
Bars of Color Within Squares is one of the few Sol LeWitt floor installations and one of his last public art pieces. 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. The floor is glass and epoxy terrazzo, a material that dates back to ancient Italy, although it is commonly found in airports, malls, and schools due to its high durability. LeWitt algorithmically designed the 15 colored squares using the six primary and secondary colors, white, and grey. Walk to the back of the atrium, which used to be an outdoor courtyard, and take the elevator to the 3rd floor to look down on the piece from above. The three dimensional appearance of many of the shapes is simply a chance construction based on the design constraints and not an intentional choice. The atrium is off of the busy Infinite Corridor, a secret garden of color and light that provides a moment for reflection.
Building Number: 6C
Accession Number: PFA.2007.001