• Richard Tuttle

    Modern Art, London
    4 March - 6 April 2023
  • Modern Art is delighted to announce two consecutive exhibitions by Richard Tuttle, together forming a large-scale solo presentation of both new and historical work in Tuttle’s sixth showing with the gallery.
    The first part is a restaging of Tuttle’s historical installation Village V (2004), which is one of a larger constellation of ‘Village’ works by Tuttle. Each containing a different iteration of the same exhibition components - a central sculpture and three groups of drawings – Tuttle’s Villages are about the reciprocated exploration between sculpture and drawing. Originally exhibited in 2004 at the Drawing Center, New York, Village V was subsequently shown on three further occasions between 2006 and 2011 at Aspen Art Museum, Sperone Westwater, New York and Hugh Lane, Dublin. Almost two decades after its conception, Modern Art’s showing of the work offers a revisiting of Tuttle’s thinking and practice at the time. In its original iteration, Village V was conceived as part of a wider move in Tuttle’s practice away from organising principles based on categories and criteria, towards ideas of groupings, or ‘villages’ where individual entities can exist in relation to one another, being in this sense both discrete and together, as a community. This move coincides with Tuttle’s refusal of the separation of disciplines, or indeed the notion of discipline itself, choosing instead to work within a merging of parameters, finding a freedom from confines in thought and practice.
    Village V, as such, is an interrogation of the idea of drawing, which is in fact a question that can be considered to underpin Tuttle’s entire oeuvre. The installation is made up of repeated markings across the walls in blue, green, yellow and silver, with a grouping of framed and unframed works mounted upon it. Some two-dimensional, others protruding from the wall, these pieces are made from a range of traditional and non-traditional materials including graphite, watercolour, charcoal, and coloured pencils, alongside wood, string, and Styrofoam. Playing with composition and the frame in this way, Tuttle treats the walls as a vehicle for drawing to take place, while undermining the function of framing upon it as a neutral surface. About Village V, Tuttle states, “We must study that confinement to expand the canon... to see how it breaks its own canon... this is an act of drawing”. Through his sensitivity to the poetics of colour, shadow and light, and the intimacy with which he responds to material in space, Tuttle’s Village V constitutes both a delicate exploration of what drawing can be, as well as a broader meditation on the making and unmaking of conceptual and formal paradigms.
  • Village V, Modern Art, London, 2023, twenty six drawings, one sculpture, dimensions variable
  • Village V, No. II, 9, 2004, balsa wood, sawdust, acrylic and graphite on paper, 35.6 x 42.9 cm
  • Village V, No. II, 13, 2004, balsa wood, sawdust, acrylic and graphite on paper, 35.6 x 42.9 cm
  • Village V, No. I, 1, 2004, graphite, acrylic, paper, maple wood, museum board and glass, 46.7 x 39 x 3.8 cm
  • Village V, No. I, 2, 2004, graphite, acrylic, paper, maple wood, museum board and glass, 46.7 x 39 x 3.8 cm
  • Village V, No. III, 10, 2004, colored pencil, graphite, acrylic on bass wood and illustration board, 30.5 x 22.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Village V Sculpture, 2004, styrene, fir plywood, vinyl, acrylic, canvas, florescent lamp, straight pins, brass wire and charcoal, 156.2 x 78.7 x 158.8 cm
  • Village V, Modern Art, London, 2023

  • '1. Drawing, through cross-hatching, has long been thought a great means of depicting shadow, something which is the basis of...
    Sperone Westwater, New York, NY, USA, 6 April - 22 May 2010
    "1. Drawing, through cross-hatching, has long been thought a great means of depicting shadow, something which is the basis of the canon’s self-confidence. But this drawing is only a question of light and dark. The “shadows” of Goya are only black. A shadow is between dark and light; we speak of a shade of a color. 2. In fact, we know color is confined by its shade, so we must study that confinement to expand the canon. 3. We must see how it expands its dimension to see how it breaks its own canon. It does this by integrating its own shade- this is an act of drawing. 4. Drawing the shadow is seen, thus, as an end of drawing and always has been: It is something we can see clearly when drawing is all that it is, freed from a canon.
    The benefits of freeing drawing from a canon are obvious, and I would like it to remain free forever, for you can have anything you can draw, but canons are always remade to lesser or greater effect, and artists will always be there to return drawing to itself."
    Richard Tuttle: Manifesto, The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers 49, 2004
  • Triumphs, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, Ireland, 19 November 2010 - 10 April 2011

  • "The original showing of Village V (including Villages I – IV) at the Drawing Center in NYC had lots of old ideas and lots of new ideas. Village V was mostly new ideas, starting with the painted walls. (I remember composing the painting in NYC on a walk to the Battery, arriving at the Terminal Building where a completeness took place with light and space coming together at the same place and time.) Village V may be thought of as a Village at night though one should not get too carried away by village nomenclature. The work for the show organized itself around a sculptural center with peripheral groups of drawings. I’ve yet to know what this meant. Each sculpture defined a group. It looked like villages. Could the work be saying, “drawings” could combine themselves, 3-dimensionally, not only 2-dimensionally as perceived wisdom would have it?"
    - Richard Tuttle, London, 28 February 2023
  • It’s a Room for 3 people, Drawing Center, New York, NY, USA, 6 November 2004 - 5 March 2005

  • 'In the five villages, a connection between the ideal and the real can be found in the sculptural forms and...
    Richard Tuttle at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975
    "In the five villages, a connection between the ideal and the real can be found in the sculptural forms and in the two sets of drawings. One set of drawings is about the real of that connection and the other is about the ideal. Each village or group addresses a specific question about drawing and thus also about the failed side of drawing. Whether or not such a thing exists, whether, in fact, drawing can be a failure, whether failure can be “drawn”. 
    I challenge the canon of drawing through drawing. The work allows you to experience seeing. To make it real in the world requires a certain understanding. Perhaps, each of my villages is an effort to construct connections, like in a real village, where each part belongs to a kind of landscape, where people live, where they make things out of what they find there, where they can change that, even."
    - Richard Tuttle in conversation with Catherine de Zegher, Richard Tuttle: Manifesto, The Drawing Center's Drawing Papers 49, 2004
  • Born in 1941, Richard Tuttle currently lives and works in Abiquiu, New Mexico, New York City and Mount Desert, Maine. He is considered to be one of the leading figures of the Post-Minimalist tradition. Through his iconic language of modesty and idiosyncrasy, Tuttle’s work has invented a poetics of space and materiality influencing subsequent generations in untold ways. Since his first exhibition in 1965 at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, his work has been the subject of more than two hundred solo exhibitions. His work was included in the Venice Biennale in 1976, 1997 and 2001, Documenta in 1972, 1977 and 1982, and the Whitney Biennial of American Art in 1977, 1987 and 2000.
    In London in 2014, Richard Tuttle undertook the Turbine Hall commission for Tate Modern, I Don’t Know . The Weave of Textile Language, which coincided with the retrospective solo exhibition The Weave of Textile Language at the Whitechapel Gallery. The survey exhibition The Art of Richard Tuttle was organised by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA, in 2005, from where it travelled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, USA, Dallas Museum of Art, USA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA, through 2007. Tuttle’s work can be found in over 45 major public collections all over the world.
    Other recent solo exhibitions have taken place at such institutions as Bard Graduate Center, New York, NY, USA (2022); Mu.ZEE, Oostende, Belgium (2017); Proyecto amil and Museo de Arte de Lima (mali), Lima, Peru (2016); The Critical Edge, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA (2016); Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2016); Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St Louis, MO, USA (2015); Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, USA (2015); Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2012); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2012); Kunstverein Munich, Germany (2012); Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Ireland (2010 – 2011); Kunsthaus Zug, Switzerland (2008); Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France (2005); Drawing Center, New York, USA, travelled to Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA (2004 – 2006).