The collector William Stern, in front of Wall Drawing #679
In 1991 Architect William Stern commissioned Sol LeWitt for a mural in his living room, the result was Drawing #679, this “drawing” or mural stayed in his living room until his dead and then he donated his home and art holdings to the Menil Collection in Houston. The Menil decided to keep the “work “of Sol LeWitt but sell the house, but first they covered the drawing with plaster. Yes, the work of Sol LeWitt is a series of instructions to draw the wall but not the physical wall where it is drawn.
So, the new owner of the house wanted to uncover the mural, but the institution said that the wall is not a Sol LeWitt Original anymore just the instructions in its archives are.
The main wall of the William Stern House in Houston, Texas. Image courtesy of Jonna Hitchcock.
Is that affect the aesthetics of the work? Does that prevent me of enjoying the work of art? There are thousands of works of art that I only know them by reproductions in magazines or Art books and I can contemplate them and realize why they are so valuables.
What if the new owner decides to “restore” the drawing or rebuild it using the same instructions, would that be a forgery? Will it differ from the original?
OK, this hidden Sol LeWitt is not an original, so you cannot sell it in the art market as an original and have an earning of millions of dollars for it. But, who cares, If I wanted for my personal enjoyment what is the problem? Value is not the same as price.
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