RICHARD TUTTLE "PIG", 1990
Richard Tuttle (b.1941) is a multidisciplinary American artist whose influential work is known for its intimate scale and subtlety.
Tuttle's compositions demonstrate a careful consideration of color, space, line, and material. Tuttle is a noted postminimalist - rejecting the rationality and precision which defined minimalism. His intimate artworks posses a crafty, handmade quality heightened by his use of unconventional materials and compositions.
By experimenting with new materials and mediums while challenging established rules, Tuttle has garnered international acclaim for his practice. He's shown at the Venice Biennale, Documenta, and the Whitney Biennale.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented a major retrospective of his career in 2005, which was exhibited throughout the U.S., including at the Whitney. His works are sought internationally and hang in the permanent collections of the Tate Modern (London), the Whitney Museum (NY), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), the Stedelijik Museum Amsterdam, and the Centre Pompidou (Paris).
"Pig" was created for the book "A Bestiary" by Bradford Morrow (b. 1951). Tuttle offered his signature minimal, homemade line forms. The maroon rectangle contains a black vertical bar and smaller white rectangles leading out from it horizontally. This is a classic Tuttle composition defined by contrasting colors, minimal forms, and straight / broken lines.
Since the ancient world, bestiaries have been used to catalog and describe collective knowledge on creatures and other natural elements (i.e. rocks). Illustrated bestiaries grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, often pairing the animal with a moral lesson. This reflected the allegorical Christian belief that each living thing had its own special meaning, and reiterated the symbolic language of animals used in Western Christian art.
Bradford Morrow (b. 1951) is a decorated American novelist and poet and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction. Morrow began writing his own bestiary featuring real and imagined creatures (like unicorns) alongside often-overlooked aspects of nature, like plankton. Morrow collaborated with 18 contemporary American artists who created artworks based on the animals in his manuscript.
Participating artists included Joel Shapiro, Erich Fischl, Kiki Smith and Vija Celmins, to mention a few. Working at Grenfell Press, the artists used traditional printmaking including wood cuts, linoleum cuts, engravings and pochoir. The result of this collaboration is gorgeously written prose accompanied by stunning works of art, as diverse in their style and beauty as the animals themselves.
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"Pig" (From A Bestiary by Bradford Morrow)
Linocut And Pochoir (color) on Somerset Wove Paper
Signed and numbered by the artist on the colophon page
From an edition of 100
Publisher: The Grenfell Press, New York
"Pig" in the book Bestiary by Bradford Morrow (New York: Grenfell Press, 1990)
Click here to see Tuttle's other contribution to A Bestiary
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