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

Incomplete Open Cube 8-14, 1974 (1974)

Sol LeWitt, American, 1928–2007

Overall: 42 x 42 x 42 in. (106.7 x 106.7 x 106.7 cm)
Enameled aluminum


Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cube series tests the limits of perception by presenting the minimal amount of information required to understand the representation of a solid form. Incomplete Open Cube 8-14 is one of 122 unique structural solutions that LeWitt generated in his systematic exploration of this concept. Painted white and denying its materiality, the sculptural object becomes a conceptual structure, signifying the system from which it emerges.

The power of this structure is in its appropriation and alteration of a conventional minimalistic form that is the epitome of balance, forcing a deeper level of mental engagement from the viewer. The openness and incompleteness of the standard cube challenges our perception, negating intuitive assumptions. We are invited, even required, to use our imaginations to complete and balance the form in our own minds, and then to reflect on our ability to accomplish that so automatically. The open faces and optical effects of white linear planes twisting through the form draw us inside and around the form to investigate all possible perspectives, inspiring a responsive movement of our own eye, mind, and body around the small-scale floor piece. Looking becomes an active creative process, and a process of creation. 


For Comparison: Ellsworth Kelly & Sol LeWitt