Seven Wall Sculpture Vandalized
LeWitt’s sculpture is located near the College’s Museum of Art.
The phrases “Why” and “Is this art?” were spray-painted on the College Museum of Art’s Sol LeWitt sculpture, “Seven Walls” on Monday, Nov. 7. Following the incident, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer sent an Official Notice to the campus community Nov. 8 expressing the College’s disapproval of the act.
Kletzer wrote that “[n]o one, least of all artists and those who love art, would deny that creative works often provoke strong reactions among those who encounter them. And those reactions are legitimate and welcome, especially in a community devoted to the free and civil exchange of ideas.” However, “when those reactions find expression in defacement and destruction, they become nothing more than cowardly, outrageous acts of vandalism—a knife to the heart of civil exchange.”
According to the press release on the College’s website, “One of LeWitt’s signature ideas is to have others actually create the work, adhering to the concept according to his detailed instructions.” LeWitt specifically designed the sculpture for the College’s museum, and it was dedicated in 2002, according to a press release posted on the College’s website. Additional pieces LeWitt designed—including Wall Drawing 803: Wavy Color Bands Within a Grey, Red, Yellow and Blue Border— appear in the museum as permanent displays.
In the e-mail, Kletzer and members of the College’s art community suggested that “the author(s) of the act will consider a different way of confronting the difficult questions about what constitutes art: take an art history course, or more than one, and discover why Sol LeWitt’s work made him, in the words of Michael Kimmelman, ‘a lodestar of modern American art’ and an artist who ‘helped establish Conceptualism and Minimalism as dominant movements of the postwar era.’”