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Strict Beauty: Sol LeWitt Prints

December 1, 2021 - January 9, 2022

The Most Comprehensive Exhibition of LeWitt’s Print Work

To Open at New Britain Museum of American Art in September 2021

 New Britain, CT—August 10, 2021—New Britain Museum of American Art will present the most extensive exhibition of Sol LeWitt’s printmaking to date, from September 18, 2021-January 9, 2022. Spanning four galleries, Strict Beauty: Sol LeWitt Prints includes eighty-three objects, consisting of single prints and print series, for a total of over 250 prints, drawn from the LeWitt Collection and New Britain Museum of American Art.

The conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) is best known for his programmatic wall drawings and modular structures, but alongside these works he generated more than 350 print projects, comprising thousands of lithographs, silkscreens, etchings, aquatints, woodcuts, and linocuts. The exhibition begins with the artist’s earliest prints: figure studies and scenes of urban life made at Syracuse University and in Hartford, Connecticut. LeWitt’s mature printmaking is explored in four thematic sections that reflect the diverse abstract languages he pursued throughout his career: “Lines, Arcs, Circles, and Grids,” “Bands and Colors,” “From Geometric Figures to Complex Forms,” and “Wavy, Curvy, Loopy Doopy, and in All Directions.”

Curated by David S. Areford, professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the exhibition is accompanied by an in-depth catalog co-published by the New Britain Museum of American Art, Williams College Museum of Art, and Yale University Press. The exhibition and catalog highlight the essential role of printmaking in LeWitt’s oeuvre, deepening the understanding not only of the variety of LeWitt’s output but of the genealogy of his distinct geometric and linear formal language.

The exhibition is organized in partnership with Williams College Museum of Art, where the show will travel subsequently, from February 18 to June 12, 2022.


RELATED PROGRAMS: All onsite events are subject to change. Check nbmaa.org for updates and registration links.


Exhibition Opening Members Reception

September 17, 5:30 p.m. at NBMAA


Keynote Lecture: David Areford

September 23, 6 p.m. at NBMAA


Curator Conversation

October 24, 3-4 p.m., at NBMAA

Featuring curator David Areford in conversation with master printer Peter Pettengill, founder of Wingate Studio in Hinsdale, New Hampshire.


 Docent Led Tours

(weekly starting September 23

Sundays at 1 p.m.

Thursdays at 6 p.m. through Daylight Savings Time



Related Music Programs at NBMAA

Part I: West End Quartet

November 7, 3 p.m.

Part II: Neely Bruce

January 9, 3 p.m.


About Sol LeWitt:

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, and raised in nearby New Britain, Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) was a pioneer of minimalism and conceptual art and is best known for his monumental wall drawings. One of the most influential artists of the second half of the twentieth century, his broad artistic practice also included sculpture, photography, printmaking, artist’s books, drawings, gouaches, and folded and ripped paper works.

LeWitt was given his first museum exhibition by the New Britain Museum of American Art in 1949, at the age of twenty-one. Throughout his lifetime, he remained deeply loyal and generous to his native city and to the NBMAA in particular. In the past four decades, the museum has devoted several important solo exhibitions to the artist: The Graphics of Sol LeWitt (1979), Sol LeWitt Prints: 1970–1986 (1989), and Sol LeWitt: Recent Works (1993), as well as the present show. Moreover, LeWitt’s work has been featured in numerous group shows, including LeWitt’s LeWitts and Selections from the Carol and Sol LeWitt Collection (2003), held on the artist’s seventy-fifth birthday and the museum’s centenary. Stemming from our enduring friendship with Sol LeWitt, the NBMAA has compiled the largest collection of the artist’s print work in existence.

About the Curator:

David S. Areford is professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is the author of Strict Beauty: Sol LeWitt Prints (New Britain Museum of American Art, Williams College Museum of Art, and Yale University Press, 2020) and editor of Locating Sol LeWitt (Yale University Press, 2021), as well as books and essays on fifteenth-century European printmaking and devotional art. 

About the New Britain Museum of American Art:

The New Britain Museum of American Art is the first institution dedicated to solely to acquiring American art. Spanning four centuries of American history, the Museum’s permanent collection is renowned for its strengths in colonial portraiture, the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, the Ash Can School, as well as the important mural series The Arts of Life in America by Thomas Hart Benton. The singular focus on American art and its panoramic view of American artistic achievement, realized through the Museum’s extensive permanent collection, exhibitions, and educational programming, make the New Britain Museum of American Art a significant resource for a broad and diverse public.

CONACT: Lisa Lappe lappel@nbnmaa.org


December 1, 2021
January 9, 2022


New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington Street
New Britain, CT 06051 United States
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