Big Dose Of History

Sol Lewitt Wall Drawing going up at Memorial Art Gallery
Sol Lewitt Wall Drawing going up at Memorial Art Gallery

Sol Lewitt’s art is more than the final piece. It is the plans, the installation and the temporary display on a wall. One of Sol LeWitt’s iconic “Wall Drawings,” has been generously gifted to MAG and it is being rendered directly on a wall in the Vanden Brul Pavilion by a representative of the LeWitt Estate and an artist from the Rochester community. The installation of “Wall Drawing #957: Form Derived from a Cube” can be seen after the holiday, starting November 26, when the gallery resumes its regular hours.

The new exhibition at MAG, “Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt,” starts with the definition of “iconoclasm” which literally means “image breaking.” With statues and sculptures from ancient Egypt, all with body parts deliberately broken for religious or political reasons, it made for pretty interesting shows as it packed in a big dose of history.

The Memorial Art Gallery’s buildings sit on ground that formerly belonged to the Haudenosaunee tribe, part of the Seneca Nation. The three-channel video installation in the MAG’s video gallery, “Here you are before the trees” (2020) features his grandmother, Dolli Big John, and focuses on the Indigenous histories of upstate New York and the devastating consequences of the US colonization of Indigenous peoples. Beautiful, sad and powerful, it is an especially moving 12 minutes.

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One Reply to “Big Dose Of History”

  1. When I was very young, my grandmother took me there and introduced me to an old man, a Native American. She was very interested in the Native American culture and the plight of these people. The old man showed me how to colorize feathers for ornamental headdresses, as well as how to make an arrowhead.
    As w left the museum, she explained to me that, sadly, he was the last surviving male of his tribe. Even at my young age, that seemed like a tragedy.

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