David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce Nine Stepping Stones, Richard Tuttle's first exhibition at the gallery, and the first major presentation of the artist's work in Los Angeles in nearly fifteen years.
Featuring a new group of wall-based works, this exhibition highlights the recent production of one of the most representative American artists of the postwar period. Over the past six decades, Tuttle has occupied interstitial positions between several genres, including painting, sculpture, drawing, and poetry. In each case, his work demonstrates how traditional categories of art-making can function as starting points for wide-ranging investigations into the functioning of perception and language, questioning not only how we see or experience, but also what is being seen or experienced. Such questions ultimately hinge upon how a person—whether artist or viewer or both—inhabits and makes sense of the thing that comes to be known as an artwork. Nine Stepping Stones is dedicated to a series of assemblages whose titles all include the word 'head' and whose roughly head-like proportions and shapes symbolise the human (and humanistic) frame of reference through which they can be engaged. Built from plywood that in turn becomes a support for spray-painted marks, each is a lyrical conundrum defined by its mysteries of construction and palpable sense of aesthetic openness exercised within clear (if elusive) limits and expressed via humble materials. In these works, colour is nominal and painting is diffracted, revealing a spectrum of constituent parts that goes beyond the visual and pushes the medium into uncharted territory. As has been the case throughout his career, Tuttle achieves visual and conceptual strength not by overpowering viewers or the spaces they inhabit, but by coaxing attention back to boundless acts of seeing, thinking, and feeling that are analogues for human freedom.
Press release courtesy David Kordansky Gallery.