SOL LeWITT (1928 - 2007); STEPHEN SCHERMEYER
Coffee table, USA, 1990s; Patinated steel, glass; Unmarked; 14 3/4" x 49" sq.
Sale Price: $9,375
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Base: Little to no wear. Glass top: One chip to one corner (1 3/4" x 1/4").
Statement from Steve Schermeyer regarding lot 1254 in Rago’s Modern Design sale on September 23rd
This table was fabricated as part of a project conceived by Sol LeWitt in 1990. Over the years, LeWitt created several tables in wood using a 'grid' as the basis. LeWitt then encountered some minimal tabes made by Stephen Schermeyer in raw, hot roll steel with exposed welds and decided that his own concepts would work well with this process. LeWitt contacted Schermeyer and asked him to fabricate a small, low bench utilizing a design of Lines in Four Directions. LeWitt was pleased with the outcome and launched a larger project using this process.
LeWitt conceived a series of tables utilizing ten different design themes. Each design theme included a small number of tables with varying designs within the theme. Each table was the same size – 49” x 49” and unique in design. Lot 1254 was part of Series IV, which included five variations. It was the third design in Series IV, so it was labeled IV,3.
Attached to this letter you will find two images. The first is the drawing dated June 1, 1990 that LeWitt faxed to Schermeyer for this table. The second is Schermeyer’s final design for the work. This final image was used in the final catalogue of designs. This catalogue was never published, but just a collection of all the final designs for this project. The original publisher of this project was Matthew Fraser of 'this history'. Frarser later ran into difficulties and dropped the project, which was then managed by Susanna Singer.
The concept used for Series IV is a familiar one in the LeWitt vocabulary: the complex. LeWitt developed a fascination with the triangle: taking it apart and re-working it in any number of ways. This table lies squarely within this exploration. Unlike a very systematic 'line' concept in some of his other work, this series is more expressionistic and relies on the idea of varied triangular pieces joined together. This became one of his most popular motifs, incorporating expressionistic design wedded with multiple welds, none in any particular order.