This series of early (1967 to 1979) paper works by Sol LeWitt, (also, on Socks) is part of his “100$ Drawings” which rotates around the idea of a minimal yet strong action imposed to a map. Geometrical shapes or specific areas are removed from satellite photos or cartographies of recognizable cities (New York, Chicago, Amsterdam, London, Florence) leaving a blank space as background. These works show Lewitt’s early explorations of the conceptual practice and already embody his focus on geometric form as well as the key concepts in LeWitt’s research against the commodification of art. The simple action applied on the maps is impersonal, it responds to a set of instructions allowing anyone to reproduce the artwork, independently from the author.
Challenging the informations embodied in a map through the simple acts of tearing, cutting and folding, the artist plays with the notion of dislocation and disembodiment.
One of the ideas was the relation to art as a commodity. I thought by doing drawings on the wall, they would be non-transportable—therefore a commitment by the owner would be implied, and they could not be bought or sold easily. I also did a number of works that would be sold for $100 (…). These were maps and postcards with drawings or cutouts, crumpled paper, folded paper, torn paper, and so on. Also since wall drawings were done from instructions, anyone could do one, no matter how badly, just as anyone can have a self-made Flavin very easily. Sol LeWitt
All Images © Sol LeWitt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York