Mark making Research : Sol LeWitt’s Scribbles

The designs of the images presented in this series are relatively simple. The wall painting (which would usually stretch from floor to ceiling) would depict a grayscale gradient. Darker towards the edges of the canvas and and lighter in the middle. ¬†This gradient was made by varying the concentration of scribbles. So dark areas will have a high concentration of dense scribbles and the opposite for the lighter areas. Sol LeWitt puposefully made the design and the process simple as he wanted it to be able to be recreated by just about anyone. Sol LeWitt had,like the old masters of the past, workshops with numerous apprentices that helped him work on his artworks. According to Takeshi Arita from The Art institute of Chicago galleries the instructions he gave for the “Scribbles” series was simply “dark, line and still”. Personally I feel that this series was leaning more towards showcasing a technique rather than an artwork. He wanted others to replicate this and show their individual flair.

Taken from Allbright-Knox art gallery Tumblr

The art work to me looks like a flash of light in a black field. However, knowing that the black shaded parts of the piece comprises of a continuous scribble gives me a calm, zen like feeling. I would think this too was what Sol LeWitt felt whilst drawing the scribbles continuously. I feel that the crux of the art work was creating a whole piece ( the artwork looked at as a whole) by depicting chance and recreating random events( the scribbles) within the confines of a space (the canvas) and certain rules( the process) not unlike Jackson Pollock’s drip painting series where he uses “chance and random events” to depict art. This oxymoron in itself is an art work and Sol Lewitt masterfully captures this through his ¬†“Scribbles” series.

Image taken from the Museo Madre museum website.

So what can I take away from this ?

Well the technique is definitely interesting and there is no harm in trying it out. However personally I feel that the final product created as seen from other replications do not clearly show any form of strong emotions, rather it creates a calming feeling. Hence I would try to use this technique but show a stronger emotion, maybe by varying the shape of the ” white flash” in the middle.

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