For LeWitt, the act of exchange seemed to be not only a personal gesture, but also an integral part of his conceptual practice. In addition to encouraging the circulation of artworks through a gift economy that challenged the art world’s dominant economic model, LeWitt’s exchanges with friends and strangers have the same qualities of generosity and risk that characterized his work in general. In the spirit of continuing the artist’s lifelong philosophy of open exchange, and in conjunction with the ‘LeWitt Wall Drawing Retrospective’ on view at MASS MoCA through 2033, MASS MoCA and Cabinet present ‘An Exchange with Sol LeWitt’‘a curatorial project initiated by independent curator Regine Basha. The two-part exhibition will be on view at Cabinet from January 21 through March 5, 2011 and in MASS MoCA’s Prints and Drawings Gallery from January 23 through March 31, 2011.
The works of art that LeWitt received throughout his life, as well as records of what he offered in return, are maintained by the Sol LeWitt Private Collection in Chester, Connecticut’Eva Hesse, Steve Reich, Robert Mangold, Hanne Darboven, and Robert Ryman are some of the distinguished artists whose works are included in the collection. LeWitt did not restrict this practice to established contemporaries and friends, but also consistently traded with admirers and amateur artists whom he did not know. Inspired by the artist’s code of conduct, Basha initiated an open call for images, objects, music, film, books, and ephemera. The response was overwhelming, with over one thousand submissions received from around the world. Featuring work in all media, as well as found objects and mementos, the exhibition will showcase contributions by artists such as Fia Backström, Daniel Bozhkov, Luis Camnitzer, Teresita Fernandez, Harrell Fletcher, Jenny Perlin, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Pedro Reyes, Steve Roden, and Anton Vidokle/Julieta Aranda, among hundreds of others.