Four Basic Kinds of Lines & Colour

Sol LeWitt

This publication is a facsimile edition of Sol LeWitt’s iconic Four Basic Kinds of Lines & Colour. Originally published in 1977, the publication stands as an enduring example of LeWitt’s rigorous process-driven practice, which utilized simple conceptual parameters to generate complex and formally-diverse visual works.

Four Basic Kinds of Lines & Colour is a composite of two earlier publications—Four Basic Kinds of Straight Lines (1969) and Four Basic Colours and Their Combinations (1971). Each left-hand page offers a black and white study of four types of lines (vertical, horizontal, right-facing diagonal, left-facing diagonal) executed in all possible combinations, while right-hand pages present a combinatory system of lines in four colors (yellow, black, red, blue). The book opens with a two-page key overviewing all permutations that follow.

It is no secret that as a founder of American Conceptualism and one of its early theoreticians, LeWitt valued the idea and logical formulations of an artwork over the art-object. However, while one might suspect that such an adherence would prevent the creation of an aesthetically pleasing work, LeWitt’s efforts here and beyond prove otherwise.

Sol LeWitt was an American artist who worked across a variety of media, including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture. His early formulations around conceptualism helped to define a generation of artists who prioritized ideas and concepts rather than subjective decision-making in the creation of an artwork. These ideas are most clearly noted in his “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” (1967) and “Sentences on Conceptual Art” (1969) and he is perhaps best-known for pioneering the wall drawing, a work derived from a series of formal operations applied directly to the wall. Throughout his life, LeWitt produced artists’ books and was a co-founder of Printed Matter in 1976.

8 x 8 inches
36 pages
August 2019
ISBN: 9781732098664

Co-Published with Printed Matter
Managing Editors: James Hoff and Keith Gray
Managing Designer: Rick Myers