“Wall Art #793A,” which transformed the Allentown Art Museum’s Trexler Hall with its waves of vibrant color for more than three years, is being removed soon. To celebrate this creation of the groundbreaking conceptual artist Sol LeWitt once more before it’s gone, the museum is hosting a “dynamic conversation” with his biographer, Lary Bloom, in June.
Bloom was a long-time friend of LeWitt, who died in 2007. And they were both members of the board of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester, Connecticut. LeWitt, a son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, designed the synagogue in collaboration with an architect. He conceived of the now-famous interior with its shallow dome and exposed wooden roof beams as an homage to the wooden synagogues of Eastern Europe. He created the foyer for use as an art gallery.
Bloom, in writing the first biography of LeWitt, “Sol LeWitt: A Life of Ideas” (2019), drew on his 20-year friendship with his subject, as well as on the artist’s letters and on over 100 interviews with friends and acquaintances. Bloom is the author of multiple books besides “Sol LeWitt,” including a collaboration with former Senator Christopher Dodd, “Letters from Nuremberg: My Father’s Narrative of a Quest for Justice” (2007), and he has taught writing at Yale University and Trinity College. His daughter, Amy Bloom Coleman, lives in the Lehigh Valley and owns the design company Spundesign.
In celebration of LeWitt’s wall art in Allentown, Bloom will discuss the artist’s life and work in the museum’s auditorium on June 25, beginning at 1 p.m. A book signing will follow at 2.
Admission is free. Seats are first come, first served, though museum members are guaranteed spots. Members can also attend a meet-and-greet with Bloom in the Member Lounge before the talk. All visitors, of all ages, are invited to make miniature wall drawings of their own in the museum’s Art Ways Interactive Family Gallery between noon and 3 p.m.