The Sol LeWitt Estate and Microsoft have developed a new immersive app (Sol LeWitt App) that transports users into the creative world of iconic Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt as never before. Whether from home or in person at select global art institutions and public installations, the app allows art lovers, museum visitors, and Sol neophytes to learn more about LeWitt’s life and legacy. App users can see his process come to life, take an immersive 360? tour of his studio, and even unlock special content using Microsoft Azure AI.
Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) was a highly influential American artist whose work helped establish both Minimal and Conceptual art. Working across a variety of mediums, including print, sculpture, photography, and his famous wall drawings, his process-oriented artmaking established a rubric of formal instructions which his assistants followed to create the works. Currently, his work is held in permanent collections at renowned institutions such as the MoMA, Tate, Centre Pompidou, Guggenheim, MASS MoCA, National Gallery of Australia, and The Met.
One of LeWitt’s often quoted statements is
“Ideas belong to those that understand them,”
shares Sofia LeWitt, daughter of Sol LeWitt
“With the advance of new technologies and Microsoft’s willingness to support a new educational and investigative platform, we are proud to present this tool, which allows viewers to explore LeWitt’s life, art, and ideas on their own terms.”
It is Microsoft’s Custom Vision technology, an Azure Cognitive Service, used to train the underlying Artificial Intelligence which delivers a personal and immersive experience unlike any other created for
an artist. At select institutions and public sites, users will be prompted through the app to take a photo of one of his works. Azure’s Custom Vision service then analyzes the image to accurately identify the specific work revealing a host of new media rich information. Also within the app lies a map powered by Bing that pinpoints locations of significance around the world, from which users can take a geographic
journey through LeWitt’s life and work. App users can even virtually tour Sol’s personal studio in
Chester, Connecticut, delving into details of his creative process, friendships, and his deep love of music.
In addition to the state-of-the-art technical aspects of the app, there is a treasure trove of neverbefore-released archival audio and video, personal photos and drawings, artwork, and studio B-roll
footage. As an accompaniment to the app, Microsoft and the LeWitt Estate will also release a podcast
miniseries featuring creative contemporaries like Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm.
“We’re honored that our technologies have played such a meaningful role in helping to preserve and
celebrate the indelible legacy of Sol LeWitt. It’s through experiences like these that we hope to truly inspire and empower future generations of creators.”
says Ryan Gaspar, Director of Strategic Brand Partnerships at Microsoft
The Sol LeWitt App was written and curated by Lindsay Aveilhé, editor of the catalogue raisonné Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings. This collaboration celebrating the life and work of Sol LeWitt is part of the Microsoft In Culture initiative which partners with the people and organizations – across art, music, fashion, sports, and beyond – who share a passion for applying technology to achieve their goals and shape culture.