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Sol LeWitt & MoMARobert Mangold
Artist Robert Mangold, speaking from his upstate New York studio in 2011, explains how his friendship with the late artist Sol LeWitt, as well as his experience working as a security guard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, influenced his approach to making art.
Mangold worked at MoMA in the early 1960s, when guarding the museum’s exhibitions was a common occupation for artists and poets, and it was here that he first met LeWitt (as well as Robert Ryman). LeWitt became one of Mangold’s closest friends.More information and credits
Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Morgan Riles & Mark Sutton. Artwork Courtesy: Robert Mangold. Archival Images Courtesy: Robert Mangold & Sylvia Plimack Mangold. Photography: John Sherman. Theme Music: Peter Foley.
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With classical restraint, Robert Mangold translates the most basic of formal elements—shape, line, and color—into paintings, prints, and drawings whose simplicity of form expresses complex ideas. He renders the surface of each canvas with subtle color modulations and sinewy, hand-drawn graphite lines. While his focus on formal considerations may seem paramount, he also delights in thwarting those considerations—setting up problems for the viewer. Over the course of years and in multiple series of shaped canvases that explore variations on rings, columns, trapezoids, arches, and crosses, he has also provoked viewers to consider the idea of paintings without centers.
“Art feeds off art, in a way.
And artists feed off artists.”