Richard Tuttle was born in Rahway, New Jersey, on 12 July 1941. He began to study at the Pratt Institute of Design in Brooklyn in 1962. The following year Tuttle took his Bachelor of Arts at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, before enrolling at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture in New York state, where he remained until 1964 although he spent time in the US army as well.
Richard Tuttle also began to work on the side at the Betty Parsons Gallery, where he had his first, very successful, solo show in 1965. Although initially influenced by artists of his acquaintance such as Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly and Tony Smith, Tuttle soon developed a distinctive formal idiom of his own. Tuttle's objects are close to Minimal art but he eschews its demand for perfect workmanship, which can occasionally make such work seem almost autistically impersonal in character.
One of Tuttle's great strengths, by contrast, is his extraordinary inventiveness. And, although beauty is the last thing Richard Tuttle may have intended, his work is always praised for just this characteristic. Viewers of Tuttle's pieces are captivated by the poetic arrangement of all sorts of materials which evoke multiple associations, enhanced by Tuttle's eloquent but often enigmatic statements.
Richard Tuttle's uvre comprises drawings, paintings, sculpture and installations. In 1975 an exhibition devoted to his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art ensured him international ranking. In 2005 the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is mounting a large retrospective which will tour the US, going to New York, Des Moines, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles by 2006.
Richard Tuttle lives and works in New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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