By Alina Cohen
Beginning Sept. 8, the Paula Cooper Gallery will exhibit work by Sol LeWitt at all three of its Chelsea locations — placing the gallery among a handful in the city opening shows that prominently feature striped motifs, just in time for New York Fashion Week. (Incidentally, LeWitt himself also dabbled in fashion, designing scarves for Louis Vuitton and a T-shirt for the São Paulo Biennale in 1996.)
In his artwork, LeWitt often incorporated stripes, which he called “bands,” and lines, distinguishing them by thickness: bands were wider. “Wall Drawing #368” will fill one of the gallery’s spaces with large-scale lines. “There’s a certain bold virtuosity to it,” says Steve Henry, the gallery’s director. “It is simple in its language of lines in four directions, but its execution is so majestic.” The other locations will exhibit works on paper, photographic works, and a structure from 1990.
Art by one of LeWitt’s friends, Fred Sandback, will be on view at David Zwirner Gallery. The show, titled “Vertical Constructions,” will demonstrate how Sandback manipulated lines in sculptural ways. The gallery partner Kristine Bell describes Sandback’s practice as “drawing in the three dimensions — drawing in space with yarn.” Bell notes the immersive nature of Sandback’s work, likening the exhibition experience to “being inside a drawing” as yarn and cord extend across the room.
If the LeWitt and Sandback shows are more conceptual, a Sean Scully painting exhibition at the Upper East Side’s Mnuchin Gallery will reveal just how personal a stripe can be. “Stripes are obviously central to Scully’s career,” says the gallery partner Sukanya Rajaratnam. While Frank Stella and his brand of minimalism influenced the artist, Scully took his work in a more “human direction” and imbued it with emotion and metaphor; some of the pieces, created following his older son’s death in 1987, use what Rajaratnaram notes is “a more somber palette.” (One work is even titled “Empty Heart.”) Down the road at Nahmad Contemporary, “Daniel Buren’s Origin of Stripes: Paintings from 1965-1966” offers an antidote in the form of bold, brightly striped canvases.
Finally, an Ed Moses show at Albertz Benda will include a piece inspired by lines in textiles: for “Untitled (Hegeman Series),” Moses imagined threads on a Navajo blanket as lines on a canvas. In other works around the gallery, he piles lines atop each other in crosshatch patterns. Tartan, anyone?