Multi-sensory Art Experience with Sol LeWitt and Roomful of Teeth

Monday, April 25, 2016

by Parker Louise Bobbitt

Sol-LeWitt-2-397x529Throughout much of history, artwork was generally considered to be immediately recognizable representations of the world. Then this belief shifted in the 19th century. Artists began to explore non-representational forms and later, the term “concept art” was coined by artist Henry Flynt. In 1934, John Dewey wrote on “art as experience,” changing our categorical perception of art.

At the Asheville Art Museum, we encourage visitors to truly experience art. While viewing Sol LeWitt’s installation work, Creating Place, the viewer is physically immersed in the work. Furthermore, artistic engagement is heightened to encompass the auditory: viewers have the opportunity to listen to Roomful of Teeth’s composition inspired by Sol LeWitt’s work. This artful piece, Partita for 8 Voices, is available in the gallery on mp3. This simultaneous observation creates the essence of collaboration between great artists of both the visual and auditory.

RoomfulOfTeethSol LeWitt is a pioneer of conceptual art most well known for his “wall drawing” installations such as Creating Place. In much of LeWitt’s work, basic cubic forms, serial structures and modular grids are employed. LeWitt meticulously created the plans for each work so that others can execute his installations. Over 1,200 of his wall drawings have been completed in museums around the world.

Inspired by Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawings, musician Caroline Shaw wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winnin, Partita for 8 Voices. Shaw states that, as a violinist, the Baroque forms of LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 305 first influenced Passacaglia. Roomful of Teeth, the vocal project for which Shaw wrote Partita, often performs within LeWitt’s work at MASS MOCA in Massachusetts. Roomful of Teeth is an innovative Grammy award winning a cappella group that embraces many approaches to creating sound such as whispers, sighs, Tuvan throat singing, Hindustani music and other vocal expressions and techniques.

On April 28, Roomful of Teeth will be performing in Asheville for the first time at the Masonic Temple. To attend their performance, purchase tickets at

  • The Masonic Temple: 80 Broadway, Asheville, NC 28801
  • 7pm -$18 in advance, $20 at the door, $15 for students

Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #618, 2014, bands of lines in four directions with color ink washes superimposed Courtesy of the Sol LeWitt Foundation. Asheville Art Museum.