When the Walker expansion opened in April 2005, a familiar mural had found a new home: Sol LeWitt‘s Four Geometric Figures in a Room (1984) moved from the first level of the Edward Larrabee Barnes-designed building to Gallery 8 Cafe several floors up (you can see it during lunch hours, Tuesday through Sunday). In preparation for an article on the mural for the September/October issue of Walker, I interviewed senior registration technician Dave Bartley on the complex installation of the mural. The work, owned by the Walker, exists in the collection as a certificate that outlines in exacting detail how the work is to be recreated without the aid of the artist. In the Walker’s collection catalogue, LeWitt is quoted as saying that
“when an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes the machine that makes the art.”
Hearing Dave recount the installation–precision taping followed by nine layers of paint applied painstakingly over two weeks with folded-cloth “buns” and supervised by LeWitt’s installer–suggests that the process was anything but perfunctory.
Here’s a photographic chronicle of one wall of the mural:
All photos: Dave Bartley, except the top one, by Cameron Wittig