Richard Tuttle

(b. 1941)

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(1941– ).

Sculptor, printmaker, draftsman, painter, and installation artist. His intimate, unassuming abstract sculptures focus attention on materials, spatial relationships, and subtleties of scale. Generally assemblages of commonplace, usually domestic materials, these understated pieces set the reticent aesthetic seen also in his prints and other endeavors. Rooted in minimal art, since the late 1970s his work has grown richer with no loss of delicacy. Born in Rahway, New Jersey, Tuttle grew up in nearby Roselle. In 1963 he graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He then moved to New York and enrolled in graduate school at Cooper Union but stayed only for one semester. Around the time he entered brief military service, he befriended Agnes Martin, who remained a mentor throughout her life. Subsequently he worked as a gallery assistant to Betty Parsons, who gave him his first one-person show in 1965 and continued to represent his work until her death. Tuttle's earliest notable achievement, a mid-1960s series of tiny folded-paper cubes cut with slits, seemed to chide the current vogue for large, physically muscular sculpture. Instead, he proposed a modest, wistful art that wandered toward dematerialization, while drawing attention to properties of materials and to the way the art activates the space around it. The drape of a fabric, the twist of a wire, or faint pencil marks on a wall served his purposes. Since the late 1970s, he has elaborated this humble approach with more complex assemblages in combination with richly brushed surfaces, often boasting offbeat colors. He divides his time between New York and Abiquiu, New Mexico.

Subjects: Art.

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