Richard Tuttle

Biography of Richard Tuttle

The stripped back visual compositions of Richard Tuttle are both whimsical and startling in nature. Tuttle is a controversial artist whose radical pursuit of reductive elements early in his career sparked critical uproar, and, on one notable occasion, caused a curator to lose their job. Although hugely influential, Tuttle defies any stylistic and historical categorization. His humble usage of commonplace materials such as fabric, wood, Styrofoam, and rope is designed to effect the viewer's perception by reflecting the fragility of the world. The audience's aesthetic experience is of deep concern to Tuttle whose work is always informed with a sense of spirituality.


Born in 1941 in New Jersey, USA, Richard Tuttle moved to New York after a brief stint in the U.S. Air Force and started exhibiting at Betty Parsons Gallery. Whilst his Post-minimalist work was quickly embraced in Europe it took considerably longer for him to be fully recognized in America. Tuttle's irregular wood reliefs of the 1960s were unique and typically Post-minimalist. By the 80s the artist started incorporating new materials, shapes, and scales, his work taking on an increasingly spar composition. In the 90s Tuttle began experimenting with the combination of differing mediums, surfaces, as well as color.


Richard Tuttle's controversial 1975 solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art was scorned by the critics, but exactly 30 years later, in 2005, a new exhibition at the same museum received universal praise. His art now sells for millions and after his prestigious sculptural installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, The Weave of Textile Language, 2014, his high standing in contemporary art was assured. Tuttle was involved in documenta 5, 6, as well as 7. He has exhibited around the world including the ICA London, the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, and Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Tuttle also participated both in the 2001 and 1997 Venice Biennale. The artist's work features in most major collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. 

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