The Arc and the Line:
The Conceptual Prints of Sol LeWitt

November 3rd – December 31st, 2011

Bernard Jacobson Gallery, New York, is pleased to present “The Arc and the Line: The Conceptual Prints of Sol LeWitt” from November 3rd until December 31st 2011. There will be an opening in the gallery on November 3rd from 6 – 8 pm.

Sol LeWitt, a leading light in American Art, who died in 2007 at the age of 78, formulated in his early writings the idea of Conceptual Art, influencing a generation and giving birth to a new way of thinking about art. Famous for his wall drawings and sculptural “structures” he also worked consistently and extensively in printmaking throughout his career, earning two print retrospectives, in 1974 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and in 1986 at the Tate Gallery in London.

He worked early on with publishers Parasol Press in New York and printers Crown Point Press in Oakland, California, who had formed an alliance and specialized in minimal aesthetics. They were two of the pioneering graphic studios contributing to the 60’s and 70’s American printmaking renaissance of which Sol LeWitt’s production was a key component.

Sol LeWitt was active in many of the print mediums including lithography, silkscreen, aquatint, etching and woodblock and linocut printing. The processes of this type of image making suited his serial methodology and his minimalist temperament as he strove to eliminate all traces of personal narrative through his repeating arrangements of geometric shapes, arcs and lines.

Early editions from the seventies (his first prints were published in 1970) were rigorous in style; they followed premeditated formulations and were often limited to black and white. Included in this exhibition is the suite of 5 aquatints Lines from the Sides, Corners and Center of the Page to Specific Points, from 1975 and the suite of six etchings with aquatint Six Geometric Figures, from 1977. Additional prints from the 70’s includeArcs and Lines from 1975, a set of 3 two-color etchings, Twelve Forms Derived From a Cube, 1984, a set of 48 screen prints and All Double Combinations (Superimposed) of Six Geometric Figures, an individual etchingfrom 1977.

Later in his career LeWitt appeared to relax, allowing color to create sumptuous - sometimes eye dazzling - surfaces, and lines to move in organic free expressions. Bands Not Straight in Four Directions, a portfolio of four woodblock prints in many colors from 1999, the series of eight linocuts entitled Bands of Equal Width in Color (the Wadsworth Portfolio) from 2000 and the suite of six linocuts entitled Tondo Stars from 2002, all attest to his ease and delight with the medium where changing colors or adding layers and complexity expanded his scope and exploration of serialism.

In 2003 Bernard Jacobson co-published with Parasol Press Crystal Glasses, a set of four hand etched crystal glasses produced in the CZ Republic by Artel and designed by Sol LeWitt.


Notes to Editors

Bernard Jacobson Gallery was founded in 1969, publishing and distributing prints by artists including Robyn Denny, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff, Henry Moore, Richard Smith, Ed Ruscha and William Tillyer. By the mid 1970s, having established himself as one of the major dealers in the international print boom, Jacobson began to show paintings and sculpture. The early 1980s saw the gallery open branches in Los Angeles and New York, expanding the range of international artists to include West Coast American artists such as Joe Goode and Larry Bell as well as modern British masters such as David Bomberg, Ivon Hitchens, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, Stanley Spencer, and Graham Sutherland. From 1997, the gallery moved more firmly into American and international art, with shows of artists such as Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Frank Stella. Recently, the gallery has held shows by the American artists Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, while European painters include Bram Bogart and Pierre Soulages and British artists William Tillyer, Bruce McLean and Mark Vaux.

In 2004, the gallery moved to 6 Cork Street in London’s Mayfair, uniting Bernard Jacobson Graphics and Bernard Jacobson Gallery under one roof. Since then, the gallery has held major exhibitions including a two-part examination of Robert Motherwell’s Open Series, the largest showing of the artist’s work in the UK since the 1978 retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts; a selection of new works by former President of the Royal Academy, Phillip King; a rare selection of works from Helen Frankenthaler’s personal collection; and Bruce McLean’s first London showing of new paintings in over fifteen years. In 2010, the gallery hosted the first UK exhibition of new work by French painter Pierre Soulages for over thirty years and a four-part exhibition of the varied works of the British artist William Tillyer. New geometrical works by Marc Vaux were on show in the exhibition New Paintings: Triptychs and Ovals in conjunction with his display at Tate Britain.

This year has seen the gallery open a new space in New York on East 71st Street with an inaugural exhibition entitled 60 Years of British Art followed by 21 Americans, the latter showing work by major American artists including Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. The London gallery is currently showing Robert Motherwell: Works on Paper, the first ever exhibition dedicated to drawings and paintings on paper by Motherwell to be held in Britain. Bernard Jacobson Gallery also has a strong presence at major international art fairs participating at Art Brussels, London’s Pavilion of Art and Design, and the prestigious Art Basel where ArtInfo voted it one of the top booths of 2011 for a vast and impressive selection of works by Robert Motherwell.