Obviously a drawing of a person is not a real person, but a drawing of a line is a real line.— Sol LeWitt
The most remarkable Sol LeWitt quotes you will be delighted to read
New materials are one of the great afflictions of contemporary art.
Some artists confuse new materials with new ideas.
Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool.
You belong in the most secret part of you.
Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you—draw and paint your fear and anxiety.
The system is the work of art; the visual work of art is the proof of the System. The visual aspect can't be understood without understanding the system. It isn't what it looks like but what it is that is of basic importance.
Artists teach critics what to think. Critics repeat what the artists teach them.
All intervening steps, scribbles, sketches, drawings, failed work models, studies thoughts, conversations, are of interest. Those that show the thought process of the artist are sometimes more interesting than the final product
The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.
The idea part is simple but the visual perception is complex.
In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work
Buying books was a way anyone could acquire a work of art for very little.
In my case, I used the elements of these simple forms - square, cube, line and color - to produce logical systems. Most of these systems were finite; that is, they were complete using all possible variations. This kept them simple.
Just as the development of earth art and installation art stemmed from the idea of taking art out of the galleries, the basis of my involvement with public art is a continuation of wall drawings.
Also, since art is a vehicle for the transmission of ideas through form, the reproduction of the form only reinforces the concept. It is the idea that is being reproduced. Anyone who understands the work of art owns it. We all own the Mona Lisa.
I was not interested in irony; I wanted to emphasize the primacy of the idea in making art
The artist is seen like a producer of commodities, like a factory that turns out refrigerators.
Irrational judgements lead to new experience.
I believe that the artist's involvement in the capitalist structure is disadvantageous to the artist and forces him to produce objects in order to live.
[The artist's aim is] not to instruct the viewer, but to give him information.
.. . The artist would follow his predetermined premise to its conclusion, avoiding subjectivity. Chance, taste, or unconsciously remembered forms would play no part in the outcome. The serial artist does not attempt to produce a beautiful or mysterious object but functions merely as a clerk cataloguing the results of his premise.
Conceptual art is only good if the idea is good.
Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple.
Successful ideas generally have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable. In terms of idea the artist is free to even surprise himself. Ideas are discovered by intuition.
One usually understands the art of the past by applying the conventions of the present thus misunderstanding the art of the past.
The thinking of John Cage derived from Duchamp and Dada. I was not interested in that.
What the work of art looks like isn't too important.
Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.
One should be intelligent enough to know when not to be too intellectual
Once it is out of his hand the artist has no control over the way a viewer will perceive the work. Different people will understand the same thing in a different way.
When words such as painting and sculpture are used, they connote a whole tradition and imply a consequent acceptance of this tradition, thus placing limitations on the artist who would be reluctant to make art that goes beyond the limitations.
When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.
When artists make art, they shouldn't question whether it is permissible to do one thing or another.
I wasn't really that interested in objects. I was interested in ideas.
What the work of art looks like isn't too important.
It has to look like something if it has a physical form. No matter what form it may finally have it must begin with an idea. It is the process of conception and realization with which the artist is concerned.
Your work isn't a high stakes, nail-biting professional challenge.
It's a form of play. Lighten up and have fun with it.
A work of art may be understood as a conductor from the artist's mind to the viewer's. But it may never reach the viewer, or it may never leave the artist's mind.
An architect doesn't go off with a shovel and dig his foundation and lay every brick. He's still an artist.
The most interesting characteristic of the cube is that it is relatively uninteresting. Compared to any other three-dimensional form, the cube lacks any aggressive force, implies no motion, and is least emotive. Therefore, it is the best form to use as a basic unit for any more elaborate function, the grammatical device from which the work may proceed.
Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple
Every generation renews itself in its own way;
there's always a reaction against whatever is standard.
I didn't want to save art - I respected the older artists too much to think art needed saving. But I knew it was finished, even though, at that time, I didn't know what I would do.
The artist’s aim is not to instruct the viewer, but to give information, whether the viewer understands the information is incidental to the artist.
Artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.
Ideas alone can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.
During the '70s I was interested in words and meaning as a way of making art.