Project History

Two works by Sol LeWitt grace both the exterior and interior of the Gates Dell Complex. Considered a pioneer of minimal and conceptual art, LeWitt is notable for a reliance on basic colors and shapes in his work. Through his writings and work, he famously proposed that an art object is important as a carrier of ideas rather than as a formal entity, and he often outlined instructions that allowed his works to be produced by others.

In 2011 Landmarks acquired Circle with Towers, one of LeWitt’s last concrete block works. Located just east of Speedway outside the main entrance to the complex, the work can be enjoyed not only as an abstract art form, but also as a social gathering place. Over a period of a few months in 2012, Landmarks worked with an expert from the LeWitt estate and a team of local masons to construct the piece, which had been exhibited in 2005 by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

In 2012 Landmarks secured a twenty-five-year renewable loan from the LeWitt estate for Wall Drawing #520, a jewel-toned ink-wash drawing that initially had been installed in 1987 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. The drawing’s floating cubes reflect the artist’s continued interest in using basic geometric elements in his work, and they are clearly linked to the cube forms of the concrete block structure just outside. With LeWitt’s diagram and set of instructions, as well as the oversight of a master draftsman from the LeWitt estate and a crew of six local artists, Landmarks installed the wall drawing over a three-week period in 2013. The drawing is situated on three walls leading to the auditorium in the north wing of the complex.

Veronica Roberts, former director of research for the Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing Catalogue Raisonné and curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art, contributed the artist essay, which provides greater detail about LeWitt and his works in the Landmarks collection.

These efforts were funded through the capital improvement project of the Department of Computer Science. Landmarks would like to thank them for their generous support. For their dedication to this project, Landmarks would also like to thank Bruce Porter, Patti Spencer, Sofia LeWitt and the LeWitt Estate, Debbie Landau and Madison Square Park Conservancy, Veronica Roberts, Anthony Sansotta, Jeremy Ziemann, Gabriel Hurier, Patrick Sheehy, Fran Gale, Sarah Hunter, and Mark Brooks, as well as the building’s architects Pelli Clarke Pelli, especially Bill Butler and Rustam Mehta.