- Richard Tuttle
- signed, titled and dated 1965 on the reverse
- acrylic on wood
- 32 x 29 1/2 in. 81.3 x 74.9 cm.
Paul and Camille Oliver-Hoffmann, Chicago
Sotheby's, New York, May 15, 2001, Lot 28
Acquired by the present owner from the above
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
The soft, sinuous edges of Yellow's form illustrate the wonderfully complicated nature of Richard Tuttle's drawing-based aesthetic and resolutely position the work among the most important in the artist's oeuvre. In the mid-1960s, when the present work was executed, Tuttle was a young, forward-thinking artist who problematized the established categories of artistic method with his utterly distinctive art objects. The hand-rendered shapes and painted exteriors of his thought-provoking creations received acclaim at his first solo show at Betty Parsons Gallery in 1965, the year that Yellow was created. While the Abstract Expressionists of the era held tight to a prescription of emotional, gestural painting, Tuttle produced work in the realm of Yellow, which is at once "neither-both" a painting and a sculpture, resisting classification in the spirit of their own unique visual language.
Of the "structural paintings" of this period, curator Madeleine Grynsztejn has more recently written, "They are characters, in every sense of the word: works of uncanny individuality, with eccentric, self-congruent traits, specific features, 'personhoods,' even, showing qualities of fortitude and sincerity that pertain not just to themselves as individuals but to Tuttle's work as a whole and to his artistic practice." (Exh. Cat., San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Art of Richard Tuttle, 2005, pp. 18-9).
In creating these pieces, Tuttle first sketched various shapes and sizes until a particular rendering was chosen. From this, he fashioned two wooden forms using a fretsaw, which he then meticulously joined together and painted in muted colors. The resulting works, such as Yellow, compound the various mediums, but nonetheless clearly retained traces of the artist's hand. These slight intricacies, as they are manifested in Yellow, are ultimately experienced via a gestalt effect: the yellow and the brown pieces combine effortlessly upon first glance, but closer inspection slowly and delightfully reveals each aspect - and permutation - of the piece's unique character.