Lot 399
  • 399

Richard Tuttle

bidding is closed


  • Richard Tuttle
  • Untitled
  • galvanized tin and solder
  • 10 1/4 by 5 5/8 by 1/4 in. 26 by 14.3 by .6 cm.
  • Executed in 1966-7, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed, dated 27.5.78 and inscribed to Annemarie Verna 3-78, by the artist.


Betty Parsons Gallery, New York
Annemarie Verna Gallery, Zürich
Dr. Heiner Oetti, Zürich
Laura Carpenter Fine Art, Santa Fe
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1995

Catalogue Note

Richard Tuttle’s fascination with interim solutions between painting, drawing and sculpture, the two-dimensional, has led him on a path of both practical and theoretical experimentation.  Tuttle’s experimentation in the 1960s with various solutions for this alternate “in-between dimension” led to the gradual dematerialization of the artist’s chosen media and therefore also, in a sense, his works.

Tuttle fashioned the present ‘relief work’, (from the Twenty Six Series), 1966, from soldered tin, an important step in Tuttle’s developing investigation of this uncertain interim medium.  In 1964-65 Tuttle was making thick, child-like plywood constructions in the form of both objects and alphabet elements, which were displayed, as with traditional sculpture, on the floor.  The artist’s change of medium in 1966 to soldered tin, a thinner, harder, more compressed material, signified an important step away from the more obvious three-dimensionality of his earlier hollow wooden constructions towards his ever developing concept of flat sculpture.

This light-weight intra-dimensional work is not restricted to floor or pedestal display, as had been the accepted presentational format for ‘sculpture’ in the past, and could therefore, be displayed, like paintings on a wall.  A stream of experiments with cloth, paper, wire and wood soon followed this significant step away from the traditional definitions of medium and dimensionality.  The present work is an especially poignant example of how the artist challenges the definition of sculpture itself as well as our most basic and seemingly reliable structures of language and the alphabet.