A new application developed by the Sol LeWitt estate and Microsoft enables users to explore works by the famed 20th-century artist, a pioneer in the fields of Minimalism and Conceptual art best known for his expansive, abstract wall drawings. The Sol LeWitt app, which employs AI technology and is now available for download on Windows, iOS, and Android devices, offers a virtual 360 degree tour of his Connecticut studio that can be experienced from any location. And at select institutions and public sites across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, users can scan images of LeWitt’s wall drawings into the application and learn details about the pieces.
Other features on the app, which has texts written by Lindsay Aveilhé, editor of the catalogue raisonné Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings, include never-before-released archival audio, video, and photos of LeWitt, viewable drawings, and studio B-roll footage.
“This is really about meeting people where they are and being able to deliver unique experiences for new audiences who may not be as familiar with Sol LeWitt,” Ryan Gaspar, director of brand partnerships at Microsoft, told ARTnews in an email, adding that the app “was never meant to be a replacement for seeing and appreciating a LeWitt piece up close and in person.” Rather, it is intended to encourage more widespread engagement with, and greater interest in, the artist’s work, which can be found in the Microsoft Art Collection.
“We hope to make this as widely accessible as possible so that people can enjoy it at a museum or a gallery, in a classroom, or even from the comfort of their own home,” Gaspar said.
“We hope the app will offer users a closer look at the artist’s life, ideas, and art making process,” Sofia LeWitt, the artist’s daughter, told ARTnews in an email. “Beyond that, we hope to convey how LeWitt’s work, while not obviously biographical, was informed and inspired by major life events, his social network, his sense of humor, and the sociopolitical issues of his day.”