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Pappajohn Higher Education Center

1200 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA
+1 515-284-5588
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Sol LeWitt's swirl-whirl mural Des Moines Iowa United States

Sol LeWitt's swirl-whirl mural

Say it three times fast: swirl-whirl mural, swirl-whirl mural, swirl-whirl mural.

No matter how you say it, there are few better places to perk up a gray winter day (or a summer one, for that matter) than in the sleek modern lobby of the Pappajohn Higher Education Center, where Sol LeWitt's three-story rainbow twists across one of the concrete walls. It's just as cool to see from outside the glowing glass building, where cars whiz by on Grand Avenue.

LeWitt was a bigwig in the Conceptual Art movement of the 1960s and '70s and believed that the idea of an artwork was more important than the actual product. So like a composer, he would dream up a design and then write specific instructions for a team of assistants to carry it out.

The mural here was painted in 2007, shortly before the artist died in his late 70s. One of his earlier pieces, a boxy white sculpture from 1969, is in the Pappajohn Sculpture Park just a few blocks west.