Sol LeWitt at the Paula Cooper Gallery

Color Therapy

Not many gallery exhibitions make me smile when I walk in the door, but this one did. It also dovetails with my interest in art, interiors and color.

I’ve long though that that geometric abstraction such as this would make terrific décor for interior spaces — it’s like trompe-l’oeil or a big fresco for the 21st century. And when I walked into the gallery, there were four other people there, all sitting on the floor gazing at the walls and taking it in as if in religious trance.

Sure, there’s a cathedral-like element to the exhibition hall, and the painting itself is redolent of stained glass, with all that black banding. But the fact that the other viewers their were comfortable enough to lay themselves out indicates to me that this piece could just as easily have a work desk or a fainting couch in front of it and not disrupt one’s daily activities.

Though the colors are somewhat primary, they are by no means garish. Look closely, as they appear to be carefully controlled washes of colored ink — at least two colors per plane, to my eye — not unlike the color washing treatments one finds in a Benjamin Moore specialty finishes catalogue. Art and design begin to overlap in ways unexpected.

Sol LeWitt, “Wall Drawing #564,” 1977. Colored ink wash.
Paula Cooper Gallery
534 West 21st Street, Chelsea
Through Oct. 12
Sol Lewitt estate, Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York, and Paula Cooper Gallery

(Images: Mark Chamberlain)