Sperone Westwater will exhibit Richard Tuttle’s “Village V”, 2004, a group of 26 drawings and one sculpture installed against stenciled walls. This work was one of six “Villages” shown in Richard Tuttle: It’s a Room for 3 People at the Drawing Center in 2005. In “Village V”, Tuttle seeks to expand the concept of drawing, investigate color and line, question ideas of composition and frame, and merge the mystical with the tangible.
Tuttle’s work transcends the conventional categories of painting, drawing, and sculpture as he explores the materiality and physical parameters of the art object. On the gallery walls is a repeating pattern of blue, green, yellow, brown, and gray diagonal lines that are painted over with white arcs. A large tube-like styrene sculpture extends from the wall at a diagonal into the viewer’s space. In a 2004 interview, Tuttle stated that the sculpture “function[s] as a way to help you get into that drawing space, which is really intimate.”
Installed at eye level are three sets of small-scale, meticulously worked, unique drawings. “Village V, No. 1” consists of tightly framed graphite and acrylic works on paper mounted on board and behind glass. In a second group, Tuttle mounts the drawings directly on the wall with floating frames that reveal the stenciled wall; shadows are cast by the frames. In the drawing “Village V, No. II, 9”, Tuttle applies pinkish-red acrylic paint mixed with sawdust on small pieces of wood to create ten match-like forms on a sheet of torn-out white paper. Two strokes of paint above one of the forms breaks up the uniform composition. The group “Village V, No. III” focuses on more singular and more representational images, such as a band of fabric, in the center of white painted boards. Constructed white wood frames are inset from the edge of each work.
Tuttle perhaps uses the idea of a village, a self-contained community, to invite the visitor to form connections and view this work as a whole despite its diverse pieces. According to the artist’s 2005 Manifesto, he creates a “work that allows you to experience seeing”—a visual experience that is inviting, personal, and ultimately spiritual.
Born in 1941, Richard Tuttle currently lives and works in Abiquiu, New Mexico and New York City. His work has been exhibited extensively worldwide since 1965. Recent solo exhibitions include the retrospective The Art of Richard Tuttle organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Des Moines Art Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2005-2007). Tuttle’s work can be found in over 45 major public collections all over the world.