Commentary on Sol Lewitt’s Paragraphs on Contemporary Art and Sentences on Contemporary Art


Sol Lewitt’s “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” was a nice slice of information on the basic ideas behind what defines conceptual art. Conceptual work often denies faculties of skill or craftsmanship, any sense of logic and brings the work outside the concerns of formal structure. This idea that the work doesn’t have to be rejected based on its visual appeal, compels me. I began to think about my own work, and how process takes high priority. But even though in my own exploration, the meaning of a mark, the history behind it is more important then the composition and visual arrangement of those marks, my work still functions within the realm of expression, in its relevance to physicality and materiality. Conceptual art aims to eliminate the viewers emotional response and create an avenue into deeper intellectual thought. It is for this reason that visual and formal concerns come second to the artworks ability to facilitate philosophical thought and discussion.


The sentences that resonated the most with me:

2. Rational judgments repeat rational judgments.

3. Illogical judgments lead to new experience.

– For this reason exactly, it is necessary that I experiment physically with the materials, and let moments of accident lead me in new directions. Once a material or method becomes a refined skill it then traps the artist in a cycle of repeating, copying and coming to the same conclusions over and over, never finding a new idea or direction for the work to go in.

6. If the artist changes his mind midway through the execution of the piece he compromises the result and repeats past results.

12. For each work of art that becomes physical there are many variations that do not.

25. The artist may not necessarily understand his own art. His perception is neither better nor worse than that of others.

27. The concept of a work of art may involve the matter of the piece or the process in which it is made.

All content sighted is derived from Paragraphs on Contemporary Art and Sentences on Contemporary Art by Sol Lewitt


By klcloonan

Los Angeles Interdisciplinary Artist

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