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ARTplay: Making art is part of the art itself

With your child: The six towers of this sculpture are taller than most grown-ups. They are made up of many identical open cubes stacked together. Sol LeWitt created works of art like this one by writing a set of rules or instructions that other people could follow. He said, “The idea becomes the machine that makes the art,” and he believed that the concept or idea behind a work of art is as important as the finished piece. Therefore the artist could provide the idea or instructions for the work of art and someone else could draw or build it.

Sol LeWitt Siz TowersSol Le Witt, Six Towers, 1987. Purchased in honor of Philip M. Johnston, Director of the
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1998-2003 and Helen M. Danforth Acquisition
Fund, ©Sol Le Witt Estate, Courtsey of Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design

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Project 1: Create your own Sol LeWitt. Use a black crayon, ruler, and paper to make a drawing according to these instructions from LeWitt’s portfolio WORK FROM INSTRUCTIONS (1971):

USING A BLACK, HARD CRAYON, DRAW A TWENTY-INCH SQUARE.
DIVIDE THIS SQUARE INTO ONE-INCH SQUARES. WITHIN EACH
ONE-INCH SQUARE, DRAW NOTHING, OR DRAW A DIAGONAL
STRAIGHT LINE FROM CORNER TO CORNER OR TWO CROSSING
STRAIGHT LINES DIAGONALLY FROM CORNER TO CORNER.

Project 2: Write your own set of rules and let someone else follow the instructions to make the art.

ARTplay is a monthly column from the RISD Museum of Art in which various themes and activities introduce kids and parents to the museum’s collection both online and off. Each month, Kidoinfo will help spark your children’s interest in art, encouraging them to learn about different works at the museum. To learn more about the collection or see the art in person, visit the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, located at 20 N. Main Street, Providence, RI.

Additional inquires or requests should be directed to: Denise Bastien, Collection Information and Imaging Specialist, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903. 401 454- 6528. E-mail inquires to: rightsrepro@risd.edu

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