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Richard Tuttle in "Structures"

“A painting or a sculpture really exists somewhere between what it is and what it is not,” says Richard Tuttle. Tuttle uses humble materials such as paper, wire, and string to create art “that accounts for the invisible.” Tuttle sees his current work as “a conjoining of architecture and calligraphy.”

In an exhibition at The Drawing Center in New York, Tuttle creates “villages” in which sculptures invite viewers into a contemplative relationship with the artist’s diminutive drawings. “The emotion of an art response does to me feel like motion,” he observes. “We use that word moved. ‘I am moved.’ And yet we know we’re standing right there and we have this experience of being stationary and moved at the same time.”

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Richard Tuttle

Even when considering his three-dimensional works, Richard Tuttle commonly refers to his art as drawing rather than sculpture—the distinction emphasizing the diminutive scale and idea-based nature of his work. Influenced by calligraphy, architecture, and poetry, he subverts the conventions of modernist sculptural practice by creating small, eccentrically playful objects in humble, fragile materials. Tuttle also manipulates the space in which his objects exist, placing them unnaturally high or oddly low on a wall—forcing viewers to reconsider and renegotiate the white-cube gallery space in relation to their own bodies.

“A painting or a sculpture really exists somewhere between what it is and what it is not.”

Richard Tuttle

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