Two weeks ago I headed up to MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass. to get an early look at their absolutely terrific new installation of 105 Sol LeWitt wall drawings, a career-spanning retrospective that opens on Sunday. This is no ordinary show. It’s going to stay on the walls at MASS MoCA for at least 25 years, so in effect it’s a mini Sol LeWitt museum. Ordinarily, I find single artist museums to be presumptuous and worse, monotonous. The great exception would be the Picasso Museum in Paris, but Picasso was a such a quick change artist it’s hard to believe he wasn’t six different people.
But the LeWitt installation has the benefit of being attached to the larger MASS MoCA campus, a sprawling collection of repurposed industrial buildings. The wall drawings, which are spread across three floors of Building Seven, will always be surrounded by MASS MoCA’s revolving menu of temporary shows, one-artist installations, live performances and so on in the other buildings. What this means is that they’ll always be on speaking terms with the rest of the artworld. And trust me, they will hold up their end of the conversation very nicely. I have more to say about LeWitt generally, which I’ll stretch out over a few posts over the next few days.
While I was at MASS MoCA last week I also had a conversation with the director, Joe Thompson. I’ll post portions of that throughout the week, too. Meanwhile there’s a great MASS MoCA website devoted to the LeWitt show here.