Ellsworth Kelly   Dartmouth Panels  (2012)

Ellsworth Kelly Dartmouth Panels (2012)

Sol LeWitt   Incomplete Open Cube 8-14, 1974  (1974)

Sol LeWitt Incomplete Open Cube 8-14, 1974 (1974)

Ellsworth Kelly Dartmouth Panels (2012)
Painted aluminum
Panel: 266 x 266 x 4 1/2 in. (675.641 x 167.64 x 11.43 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of Debra and Leon Black, Class of 1973
© Estate of Ellsworth Kelly

Sol LeWitt Incomplete Open Cube 8-14, 1974 (1974)
Enameled aluminum
Overall: 42 x 42 x 42 in. (106.7 x 106.7 x 106.7 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Purchased through a gift from Joachim Jean Aberbach and a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
© 2017 The LeWitt Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Both of these artists are exploring human perception from different perspectives, each through an essential structuring element of our reality. LeWitt uses the cube, the basic component of all architectural space, to give us a glimpse into the time and space in which all three-dimensional reality exists, structured by a grid, as suggested by the infinite incompleteness of the cube.  

While LeWitt’s cube references a series, Kelly’s spectrum can be viewed as part of a similar system, signifying the concept of the spectrum of visible light, the most basic part of visual perception, which allows us to perceive all color, form, and visual stimuli. In the Dartmouth Panels installation, these colors are projected into vertical rectilinear forms, becoming a structuring aspect of the architecture and experience of the environment around them.

Each of these works offers a method of breaking down reality into fundamental elements and pure systems that are deeply, universally familiar in the human experience. The simple forms we use to represent these concepts become a means of imposing order on nature and making sense of the world we inhabit every day.