Currently 77 years of age and with a career spanning over half a century, Tuttle is recognized as one of the most significant artists at work today for his extensive oeuvre consisting of a refreshingly multifaceted manner of practice that is outside of existing preconceptions and representation systems. This marks the artist’s fourth exhibition in Japan since his previous solo presentation The Place in the Window at Tomio Koyama Gallery five years ago in 2013, and introduces a selection of eight new works.
During the exhibition, Tomio Koyama Gallery will publish RIchard Tuttle The Place in the Window, the catalogue compiled on the occasion of his solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery, Kyoto in 2013.
Richard Tuttle was born in Rahway, New Jersey, USA, in 1941. He currently lives and works in New York City, and New Mexico. In 1963 he completed his BA in philosophy and literature at Trinity College, Hartford, USA. He held his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, in 1965 when he was 24 years old, and an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975 when he was 34 years old. Such exhibitions attracted significant attention, and had given rise to various topics of public discussion. Tuttle has further participated in international exhibitions such as La Biennale di Venezia (1976, 1997, 2001), Documenta (1972, 1977, 1987), “Skulptur Projekte in Münster” (1987), and the Whitney Biennial (1977, 1987, 2000). Richard Tuttle is thus not only a leading figure in post minimalism, but can also be described as an artist who has constantly stimulated the art scene while transcending conventions of categorization, historical contexts, and genres.
His recent exhibitions include The Art of Richard Tuttle, a large-scale retrospective that was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and then traveled across various venues within the USA from 2005 to 2007. In 2014, Tuttle held a major exhibition I Don’t Know, Or The Weave of Textile Language at the Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery, garnering much interest for his monumental winged sculpture with textiles that was installed in the Turbine Hall. Tuttle’s works are housed in the collections of numerous museums throughout the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Metropolitan Museum among other prestigious museums in the USA, as well as the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, and Museum Ludwig. In Japan, his work is a part of the collection of the National Museum of Art, Osaka.
Tuttle has continued to produce an extraordinarily multifarious body of work that encompasses sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, installation, poetry and publication. Through applying colors and lines to everyday ephemeral materials such as wood, paper, textiles, wire and rope, he gives rise to a liberated means of expression that goes beyond genres and categorization as manifest in his works that appear to drift between the realms of drawing, painting, and three-dimensional object.
These works serve to generate various nuances such as the contorted fragments and wrinkled surfaces of the materials, as well as their small protrusions, rich texture, and changes in colors and shadow. What is observed here, is a sense of “fluidity” that suggest the artist’s own physical movement, process of production, and passage of time. A rich perceptual effect is conceived through the spatial developments of the three-dimensional objects that condense multifaceted meanings, and transform their expression depending on the position of the viewer.
Viewers are indeed taken by surprise at the way in which familiar materials and colors that we observe within our daily surroundings come to manifest as strong presences, which seemingly accompany a sense of movement and energy. They also harbor a certain air of lightness, and even at times appear humorous, while at the same time are reminiscent of different landscapes or memories of life. Tuttle’s works project experiences of reality that we are unable to entirely fathom within our daily lives, and act as mirrors that present us with a rich sensory engagement and a new perspective on the world.
The works featured in Tuttle’s solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery Kyoto in 2013, were a series of objects created by placing cotton fiber on wire mesh rolled up like a cylinder or flattened out like a canvas, upon which various colors of paint had been applied. Art critic Midori Matsui, describes Tuttle’s works as follows.
The exhibition presented a powerful artistic experience by offering spectators the singularity of ‘colors’ as a powerful presence and individual entity, through the application of ‘absorption,’ a natural function of paint, as a conscious method of capturing the process of the colors’ becoming.
The exhibition centers on eight of Tuttle’s latest works.
Tuttle expresses his fondness for a means of representation that extend the viewer’s sensory perception through a compact form like that of a poem, and mentions being deeply moved by the way in which complex meanings are condensed within small things. The words of the artist and the titles of the works embody such poetic expressions, while the works themselves suggest different contexts of meaning that open up diverse possibilities for viewing.
Western society has been dominated by the art of imitation, yet this is because for most people, a means of artistic expression based on imitation offers more reassurance. Although art that is grounded upon reality instills freedom in its viewers, many in fact fear freedom. Nevertheless, I wish to offer this sense of freedom. No matter how subtle or in an understated form, I hope viewers will be able to feel their minds being liberated through viewing my works.
(“An Interview with Richard Tuttle,” text / interview: Midori Matsui, Bijutsu Techo XX 2013 issue.)
Tuttle, while replacing the realities of the body and perception with a poetic visual language, draws viewers back to a direct interest and emotional engagement towards life. This exhibition presents a rare opportunity to view the latest works from the artist’s extensive oeuvre. We hope viewers will enjoy their encounter and experience of this vibrant and liberated perspective of the world that continues to further evolve in its profundity.