Interns Love LeWitt

An entry from awesome new Marketing intern Cortney:

The first time you see the Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing Retrospective, you will miss a lot of it.  This is definitely a multi-visit kind of space.  On the first visit some of the drawings will stand out to you. Their playfulness and skill level, or their color palate and geometric patterns. Something will get to you and you will think you have found a favorite. And the second time you will want to visit your favorite again. Like 31 flavors of ice cream, you should probably try the other 30, but geez Rocky Road is so tasty! On the way there you will inevitably be confronted with a new mistress, a sly wall drawing that laid in wait on your first trip, only to shine so bright the second time around that you stop dead in your tracks to stare. The same will happen on the third and fourth trip, until you have been fully seduced by three floors worth of wall drawings.

After the peacocks of the bunch have strutted by, after you have examined the delicate lacework of the shier types, after you have stared at hypnotic puzzles until your eyes burned, then and only then will you actually be able to pick a favorite.

The following are accounts of favorite wall drawings chosen by myself and a few of my fellow interns.

Em (Performing Arts): Wall Drawing 422

The room (or wall) is divided vertically into fifteen parts. All one-, two-, three-, and four-part combinations of four colors, using color ink washes.

“My favorite LeWitt’s are subtly clever, without gimmicks. I enjoy the simplicity of the wall labels, which give such clear explanations of the process by which the works were created. In this painting, LeWitt instructs the painters to use all 1, 2, 3, and 4 color combinations of gray, blue, yellow, and red. Walking down the wall and picking out which color combinations are which is a mini-puzzle, and together all these combinations make a satisfying and interesting composition.”

Corin (Kidspace): Wall Drawing 797

The first drafter has a black marker and makes an irregular horizontal line near the top of the wall. Then the second drafter tries to copy it (without touching it) using a red marker. The third drafter does the same, using a yellow marker. The fourth drafter does the same using a blue marker. Then the second drafter followed by the third and fourth copies the last line drawn until the bottom of the wall is reached.

“My favorite Wall Drawing is # 797 (copy line using markers). This is my favorite because it is so fun to look at, it is very different from far away and up close. I also love that it is a unique material for LeWitt and the way the first black line mimics the mountainscape of the Berkshires that can be seen out the windows facing this drawing.

Of course it’s hard to play favorites!”

Nida (Design): Wall Drawing 85

A wall is divided into four horizontal parts. In the top row are four equal divisions, each with lines in a different direction. In the second row, six double combinations; in the third row, four triple combinations; in the bottom row, all four combinations superimposed.

“I’m quite fond of Sol Lewitt’s Wall drawing 85 because it requires a little more scrutiny than some of the others. From a distance it appears as though Sol (first name basis, yes) has asked his draftsmen to use 15 colors on the wall in a particular pattern. But, approach this one closer and you’ll notice that it’s merely a color mixing of 4 colors. It’s just the primary colors and black in a primary application to create something quite astounding; a few different fine lines mix across a massive white wall forming so many beautiful colors.”

Cortney (Marketing): Wall Drawing 821A

A white square divided horizontally and vertically into four equal parts, each with a different direction of alternating flat and glossy bands.

“This wall drawing is among some of my favorites in the collection, the images where LeWitt calls for the contrast of glossy and matte paint to articulate shapes.  There is an almost identical version of this painting done in black, but I prefer the white on white.  Because the paints are white—the exact white of all of the walls—there are viewing angles in the room that render this drawing invisible. At certain times, however, like on a sunny day, the light in the room makes the entire thing pop off the wall.  I barely noticed this drawing on my first few visits (cloudy days no doubt), but when I finally really saw it, I couldn’t get enough.”

Rachel (Performing Arts): Wall Drawing 614

Rectangles formed by 3-inch (8 cm) wide India ink bands, meeting at right angles.

“It’s simple, sleek, and turns a huge white wall into something intriguing. Not that plain white walls don’t have their charms, but ordinary thick black rectangles attached to each other turn an ordinary wall into something extraordinary. It’s not in your face, but it’s present. There’s no snootiness about this art, it doesn’t belong in a multi-million dollar penthouse with Hudson views. Anyone can recreate it to show the world, as I well know. It’s painted onto a wall in my house, surprising most who happen upon it. Art exclusivity is obsolete, LeWitt makes it available.”

(Bloggers note: Rachel came to her favorite not through continuous visits of the space, but by a prolonged private seduction in her living space. Clever move, Wall Drawing 614. Very clever.)

Nida (again): Wall Drawing 1260

Scribble: Square without a square.

“I’m framed! I love it!”

Clearly there are many reasons to love a LeWitt Wall Drawing. And we will all probably have new favorites next week. Join in the fun! Get to MASS MoCA and get seduced!


PS. If you loved Cortney’s pics of the interns jumping in front of their favorite drawings, check out the super fun blog Jumping in Art Museums.

Posted January 30, 2009 by Brittany Bishop
Filed under BLOG, Interns, LeWitt
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Flickr Finds: Biospheres

This month’s Flickr Finds showcases photos taken in, around, and under Vaughn Bell‘s fabulous hanging Personal Home Biospheres. Enjoy!

Please note all photos shown in Flickr Finds blogs retain the copyright of the original photographer. To learn more about the photographer and the licensing of their images, click on the photographer’s name to visit their Flickr profile or webpage.

From b i r d

From shiffman

From amyolsonjewlery

From amc

From bizarrt

From superclever

From Amy Loves Yah

Upload your MASS MoCA photos to the MASS MoCA Flickr Group now. Your picture could be featured here next month.



Posted January 21, 2009 by Brittany Bishop
Filed under Badlands, BLOG, Exhibitions, Flickr Finds
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The Best of 08′

Happy 2009! I am squeaking this blog in just a few days before the time to stop talking about 2008 arrives (by my calculations exactly two weeks after the turn of the new year).

I polled a few of my colleagues to find out what their various favorites from 08′ were. Below are our picks, but I would love to get your answers too. Comment with your thoughts for the Best of  08′.

Best news story of  08′ (National)

– Obama elected President. (This was a staff favorite!)

-Michael Phelps winning 14 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. (Meg, Performing Arts)

Best news story of 08′ (Local)

North Adams bank robbery attempt. (Rebecca W, Development)

-The mysterious disappearance, and thank goodness, subsequent return of Northern Berkshire’s landmark poultry. (Sarah, Performing Arts)

Mercury spill at Conte Middle School and mercury’s strange similarities to the Simon Starling sculptures in the galleries. (Alison, Education)

Best art piece featured in the MASS MoCA galleries

-Devorah Sperber’s installation in KidSpace. (Laura, Kidspace)

-Simon Starling’s Nanjing Particles. (Joe, Director)

-Marine Hugonnier’s Ariana. (Rebecca R, Membership)

-Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing # 146A . (Gene, Curatorial)

Best performance at MASS MoCA

-Bollywood Dance Party. (Alexis, Box Office)

-Sweet Divines at retro Soul Dance Party. (Katherine, Marketing)

-Yo La Tengo Concert. (Alison)

-Upside-down flute playing girl at an afternoon Bang on a Can Gallery recital. (Rebecca R)

-Steve Malkmus and the Jicks. (Jodi, HARDWARE Store)

Best Herrell’s Ice Cream Flavor

-Chocolate Peanut Butter. (Sue, Performing Arts)

-Mud Pie. (Another staff favorite!)

-Chocolate Coconut. (Joe)

-Burnt Butter & Sugar. (Eric, Development)

Best Noth Adams event

-Beach Day. (Rebecca R)

Steeple Cats games; Downtown Celebration in August. (Paulette, Administration)

-Pancake Breakfast at the Houghton Masion Masonic Lodge (last Sunday of every month). (Sarah)

-Phillippa from Bang on a Can leading “Take me out to the Ballgame” on her musical saw @ the Steeple Cats. (Sue)

Open Studios Weekend. (Rebecca W)

Best non-MASS MoCA related event

North Adams Prom (for adults). (Alison)

-Okkervil river, Crooked Fingers, and What Cheer? at Pearl Street in Northampton, October 8th. (Gene)

-2 Dave Matthews Band shows back to back at SPAC. (Meg)

-GATZ at EMPAC. (Brittany, Marketing)

-Open Mic Comedy Night at The Alley. (Katherine)


Summer Highlight– A Lovely BBQ at Duncan and Susan Brown’s House with the Sol LeWitt Professionals and Apprentices in early June. (Meg)

Best Super Bowl upset– Giant over the Pats in Super Bowl XLII. (Gene)

Best Sight– Seeing thousands of people enjoy themselves at the Sol LeWitt Opening. (Paulette)

Most Satisfying and Beautiful Event– Watching the Sol LeWitt wall drawings slowly unfold over 6 months time. (Joe)

Best HARDWARE Staffer of 08– Noelle Barlett (Jodi)



Posted January 13, 2009 by Brittany Bishop
Filed under BLOG, Blogroll
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Guy Ben-Ner Opening Memorial Day Weekend

We just posted information about our upcoming summer 2009 exhibition, Guy Ben-Ner’s Thursday the 12th.  Take the time to watch the video and read the critic’s view to see what Guy Ben-Ner is all about.

Posted January 6, 2009 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Exhibitions
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