Originally published in 1977, Four Basic Kinds of Lines & Colour is a classic artist’s book by preeminent conceptual artist Sol LeWitt (1928–2007). Featuring 34 pages of drawings, the work is an early example of LeWitt’s rigorous, algorithmic process in which a set of rules, applied to generate an image, are subsequently run through all of their permutations.
In the late 1960s LeWitt began applying this technique, first developed for his wall drawings, to artists’ books. In this publication, LeWitt demonstrates the 34 ways that basic lines (horizontal, vertical, left-facing diagonal and right-facing diagonal) can be rendered in four colors (red, yellow, blue and black), with each page displaying a single combination (for example, horizontal lines in blue).
The book is one of LeWitt’s signature bookworks, which in its original edition remains quite scarce, so this new facsimile edition is significant; almost none, if any, of his books (he produced over 50) have been reprinted.