Richard Tuttle (b. 1941, Rahway, New Jersey) has revolutionized the landscape of contemporary art, challenging rules and notions of genre and media.
His work exceeds rational determinations, sensitizing viewers to perception and the unconscious, and engages aspects of painting, drawing, sculpture, bookmaking, printmaking, and installation.
Exposed to the Pop movement and the beginnings of Minimalism as a young artist, Tuttle began to explore the possibilities of material and form freed from historical allusion and precedent. Early investigations into the merging of painting and sculpture are evident in his Constructed paintings which exist in a liminal space between mediums. For Tuttle, the 1980s and 1990s marked wider experimentation with material and a move toward in-the-round constructions. He began incorporating the frame as an element in his compositions, collapsing the boundaries between the artwork and its surrounding space.
Tuttle’s engagement with scale, light, and systems of display have endured throughout his oeuvre and can be seen in his attention to marginal spaces such as floors, corners, and over door frames. Rejecting the rationality and precision of Minimalism, Tuttle embraced a handmade quality and the invention of forms that emphasize the occupation of these space along with volume. Over the course of his career, he has continued to overturn traditional constraints of material, medium, and method that engages a variety of traditional and non-traditional processes such as in his wire, small-scale collage, dyed cloth, and octagonal pieces.
Richard Tuttle draws beauty and poetry out of humble materials, creating works that exist in the present moment, reflect the fragility of the world, and allow for individual experiences of perception.