Sol LeWitt

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Project History for Circle with Towers

In 2011 Landmarks acquired Circle with Towers, one of LeWitt’s last concrete block structures. Located just east of Speedway outside the main entrance to the Gates Dell 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.

This project was funded through the capital improvement project of the Department of Computer Science. Landmarks would like to thank them for their generous support and many others, including:

Leadership

Andrée Bober and Landmarks Pat Clubb and University Operations Douglas Dempster and the College of Fine Arts Landmarks Advisory Committee Bruce Porter and the Department of Computer Science William Powers and the Office of the President Bob Rawski and the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction David Rea and the Office of Campus Planning Samuel Wilson and the Faculty Building Advisory Committee

Project Team

Andrée Bober, curator and director, Landmarks Mark Brooks, Office of Facilities Planning and Construction Bill Butler, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Austin Commercial Nisa Mason, project manager, Landmarks Rustam Mehta, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Rudd & Adams Masonry, Inc. Jeremy Ziemann, master mason, LeWitt Estate

Masons

John P Adame Christoper J. Alejos Jesse Carbajal Rico Aruizo Epifanio Gustavo L. Gaytan Isacc Hernandez Alfredo Martinez Oscar Martinez Reymundo Medina Robert Montalvo Carl Bermudes Pacheco Gerardo Sanoteli Albert A. Suniga Kenneth O. Tarter Jr. Arthur Trujillo Francis Munoz Vazquez Jeremy Ziemann

Special Thanks

Fran Gale, School of Architecture Sarah Hunter Debbie Landau and Madison Square Park Conservancy Sophia LeWitt and the LeWitt Estate Beth Palazzolo, administrative coordination, University Operations Veronica Roberts, curatorial contributor Anthony Sansotta, LeWitt Estate James Shackelford, Office of Facilities Planning and Construction Patti Spencer, Department of Computer Science

Project History for Wall Drawing #520

In 2012 the LeWitt Estate granted Landmarks a twenty-five year loan 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 grace the interior of the Gates Dell Complex.

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.

This project was funded through the capital improvement project of the Department of Computer Science. Landmarks thanks them and many others for their generous support, including:

Leadership

Andrée Bober and Landmarks Pat Clubb and University Operations Douglas Dempster and the College of Fine Arts Landmarks Advisory Committee Sophia LeWitt and the LeWitt Estate Bruce Porter and the Department of Computer Science William Powers and the Office of the President Bob Rawski and the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction David Rea and the Office of Campus Planning Sharon Wood and the Faculty Building Advisory Committee

Project Team

Andrée Bober, curator and director, Landmarks Mark Brooks, Office of Facilities Planning and Construction Bill Butler, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Gabriel Hurier, master draftsman, LeWitt Estate Nisa Mason, project manager, Landmarks Rustam Mehta, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Anthony Sansotta, LeWitt Estate Patrick Sheehy and Vault Fine Art Services

Draftsmen

Michael Abelman Rachel Houston Gabriel Hurier Eileen Lammers Clint Reams John Shapley Patrick Sheehy

Special Thanks

Steven Jones, Austin Commercial Sam Krier, Austin Commercial Debbie Landau and Madison Square Park Conservancy Beth Palazzolo, administrative coordination, University Operations Veronica Roberts, curatorial contributor James Shackelford, Office of Facilities Planning and Construction Patti Spencer, Department of Computer Science

Press Highlights

Sol LeWitt Artwork Unveiled at UT’s New Computer Science Building Kelsey McKinney, Alcalde, 22 March 2013Circle with Towers, the 14-foot high circular structure designed by conceptual and minimalist artist Sol LeWitt, was just unveiled this week, and it already has a nickname: “Gates-henge.” The structure was acquired by Landmarks, UT’s public art program, along with a colorful LeWitt wall drawing inside the building.

UT makes big leap in public art Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin360, 22 February 2013 Outside a new building at the University of Texas stands a striking circular structure made of ordinary unpainted cement cubes. 

LeWitt Sculptures Sold  Carol Vogel, The New York Times, 03 March 2011 In 2005, shortly after two commissioned sculptures by Sol LeWitt — Circle With Towers and Curved Wall With Towers — were installed in Madison Square Park, he donated both works to the Madison Square Park Conservancy, which oversees that green space between Madison and Fifth Avenues, from 23rd to 26th Street. 

Press Release - 4 March 2011

Sol LeWitt’s Circle with Towers Acquired by The University of Texas at Austin

AUSTIN, Texas—The concrete block structure Circle with Towers by Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) has been purchased by Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, from the Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York.

Circle with Towers will grace the entrance to the new Dell Computer Science Hall and the Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex currently under construction on the east side of Speedway between 21st and 24th Streets. The unveiling of the work will coincide with the opening of the computer science complex in September 2012. This work will join Landmarks’ permanent collection of public art on the main campus.

“LeWitt’s structure will serve not only as an object in its own right but also as a new place that will allow students to interact with the Computer Science environment in a way that is informal and was nonexistent before,” says Andrew Houston, member of the Faculty Building Advisory Committee and architecture and urban studies undergraduate. “It will be a focal point of intellectual debate and exploration—both of its embodied ideas and its physical presence.”

The structure is made of concrete blocks that form a twenty-five-foot-diameter ring, which is intersected by fourteen-foot-high towers at equal intervals. It represents the modular structures and simple, geometric forms for which LeWitt is acclaimed. He pioneered the development of Minimalism and Conceptual art in the 1960s and 1970s. His ideas value concept over expression, and the execution of his work invites artistic collaboration.

“There are few opportunities to acquire works of this caliber,” says Andrée Bober, Landmarks director. “This powerful example of LeWitt’s renowned serial structures complements the university’s purpose and its public art collection perfectly. He redefined traditional concepts about the ways in which art is produced, and I expect his ingenuity will inspire many generations of students to think in new ways.”

Circle with Towers is one of Sol LeWitt’s last works,” says John R. Clarke, professor of art history and member of the Landmarks Advisory Committee. “It represents the culmination of his desire to communicate the rigor of his conceptual art in a ‘user friendly’ way. A viewer can enjoy the work at many levels: from its abstract form to its reality as a social gathering place. It draws viewers into its subtle but complex geometry by engaging their spatial responses.”

The artist donated Circle with Towers in 2005 to the Madison Square Park Conservancy for the sole purpose of establishing a permanent endowment to support the exhibition of artists’ work in Madison Square Park.

Debbie Landau, president of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, said, “We are proud that Circle with Towers will join the Landmarks collection. It is so gratifying to know that Sol LeWitt’s beautiful structure will be understood and enjoyed by the public.”

Sol LeWitt’s work has been exhibited at hundreds of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. Retrospective exhibitions have been held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Tate Gallery, London.

Download the press release.

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Stephanie Sandoval
Communications Coordinator
Landmarks
stephanie.sandoval@austin.utexas.edu
512.232.5904