Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Drafting Methods: Architecture and Language in Sol LeWitt’s Art, 1960–1980
Authors: DiBenedetto, Erica
Advisors: Doherty, Brigid
Foster, Hal
Contributors: Art and Archaeology Department
Keywords: architecture
Conceptual art
Sol LeWitt
Subjects: Art history
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: “Drafting Methods: Architecture and Language in Sol LeWitt’s Art, 1960–1980” examines how Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) developed his seminal practices and theories of Conceptual art by responding to fundamental questions about space, surface, structure, and perception that emerged in the period under consideration, particularly among artists associated with Minimalism. In presenting a critical account across the various media of LeWitt’s work, I argue that his ideas cannot be understood simply in regard to a single medium, as that concept was defined in New York City in the 1960s, or in opposition to it, as extant scholarship has suggested. The dissertation instead proposes that the enduring significance of LeWitt’s contributions to twentieth-century cultural production in the United States and Europe lies in how he explored, and then redefined, the relationship between artist and audience in his work by treating architecture and language as complementary, rules-based systems. Each, he realized, had the potential to convey ideas through both abstract and concrete means. Utilizing those characteristics, LeWitt took up the longstanding problem of defining art through its similarities with and differences from architecture, which he understood could be built, drawn, and otherwise conceived, including through language. The term drafting in the dissertation’s title highlights the fact that one of LeWitt’s most sustained engagements with architecture was through the act of drawing, especially in its technical forms. In my study, drafting also signals the act of working through multiple versions of something, most commonly a text but also an idea—an iterative process of creation that I identify as crucial to LeWitt’s practice as he developed systematic ways of working. Connecting these two operations of drafting, the dissertation investigates the artist’s perpetually evolving working methods across his early paintings, modular and serial structures, wall drawings, drawings, prints, photographic images, and artist’s books, as well as published and unpublished writings.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Art and Archaeology

Files in This Item:
This content is embargoed until 2026-02-06. For questions about theses and dissertations, please contact the Mudd Manuscript Library. For questions about research datasets, as well as other inquiries, please contact the DataSpace curators.

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.