Some of LeWitt’s most lively words of advice arrive in a 1965 letter
to his friend and fellow artist Eva Hesse. Responding to Hesse’s doubts about the merit of her work, he encouraged her to let go of expectations imposed by others and her own ego and just “DO.”
Building on his interest in irrationality, LeWitt encouraged Hesse to let loose and incorporate absurdity into her practice, which fused Minimalism with references to mortality and the female body. “Do more. More nonsensical, more crazy, more machines, more breasts, penises, cunts, whatever—make them abound with nonsense,” he wrote. “Try and tickle something inside you, your ‘weird humor.’ You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world.”
LeWitt even suggested that Hesse try making “some BAD work—the worst you can think of and see what happens.” But chiefly, he proposed that she “relax and let everything go to hell—you are not responsible for the world—you are only responsible for your work—so DO IT.” Here, LeWitt’s main goal seems to be reducing the pressure Hesse feels to succeed in the context of the 1960s art establishment. “Don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be,” he continued.
LeWitt also advocated for a process that, to the contemporary ear, recalls meditation: clearing and calming the mind, in order to access new ideas. “When you work or before your work you have to empty your mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that,” he said. “After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going.”