“Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” Sol LeWitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art, 1969
ABOUT SOL is a documentary on the life and work of the American conceptual artist Sol LeWitt. It centres on the reminiscences of his wife Carol: she shares a string of memories, beginning with their departure from New York to a new life together in Spoleto, the birth and first years of their daughters in Italy, and moving on to Sol’s work and his friendships with artists and with the people of Spoleto. LeWitt was a private individual and the film bears this in mind, finding aspects of his reserved nature in his work. He was a solitary person, against the ego in art.
Placing the work, rather than the artist, at the heart of the matter means that – when New York conceptualism and the mysticism of Spoleto, its stone town and the sacred wood, encounter one another – certain affinities are found. In Umbria, LeWitt studied the great Italian painters – Giotto, Piero della Francesca, frà Filippo Lippi – who are seemingly so distant from conceptual art and minimalism. According to his friend and gallerist Marilena Bonomo: “In Italy, Sol found the formula of painting, and he repurposed it in the geometry of his work”.
Each one of us can approach LeWitt’s vision by following the daily walk he took, in his early years in Spoleto, between the Bonomo families hermitage and their tower, as documented in the artist’s book From Monteluco to Spoleto (1984). Through his eyes one can experience the sensations and, perhaps, the emotions that moved his research. About Sol is a personal portrait, tracing the story of Sol LeWitt. Journeying through her memories, Carol’s tale touches on Bach’s fugues, a Muybridge book of moving animals forgotten during a removal, a white house in an ancient oak wood, a room with thousands of audio cassettes catalogued by hand in Connecticut, and days spent watching a single picture, or, in his last months, meditating on light and shadow: Sol’s way of “getting out of life”.
produced by FONDAZIONE CARLA FENDI