Richard Tuttle: Separation - Art Collector

Richard Tuttle, True Values In Korea, 2014. plywood, paint, pencil, staples, plastic film, coloured cotton, fabric, nails, 5 elements, each 17.5 x 12 x 2 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Modern Art, London

By Emma Capps

Currently on show at Modern Art gallery in Clerkenwell is a solo exhibition of recent work by American post-minimalist Richard Tuttle.

Set across three rooms,
Separation begins with a series of small¬ scale arrangements, each of which comprising a precise formation of seemingly random elements – fabric, thread, and roughly painted synthetic batting are affixed to boards of white styrofoam by sharply placed bamboo skewers. At first, the works appear as somewhat compulsive accumulations of unlikely materials, but after a short time spent in their presence, their underlying pattern of organisation becomes apparent. The elements of each piece are actually remarkably consistent; beginning with the recurring use of roughly ¬rectangular strips of pink fabric, which have been taped simply to each board, emphasizing and clarifying the other material elements, like an underline, or a caption.

The second room provides a space for a series of larger sculptures that similarly cling (somehow convincingly) to their own, bewildering schema. Composed of geometrically configured wood panels, each structure is draped with synthetic fabrics and bedecked with mesh, wool, yarn, plastic and ply. The group lean gently against painted canvas wall hangings, which provide a consistent background for their indeterminate presence. Whilst arrangements like these could seem fidgety, these works are instead bound by their own elusive syntax, which imbues them with an orderly sense of calm.

In addition this current show in London, Tuttle’s work is also the subject of three concurrent solo exhibitions currently showing at Pulitzer Art Foundation (St Louis, USA), the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, USA), and Kunstmuseum Winterhur (Switzerland).

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