At Matthew Marks, Anne Truitt is Modest as a Picket Fence

THE DAILY PIC: Turning restraint into assertion.



THE DAILY PIC (#1448): I know this work is hard to make out, but I believe that’s half its point. I’m showing a front and rear view of Anne Truitt’s sculpture called White: Four, now on view in a group show at Matthew Marks gallery in New York. (I wrote a rave review of her Hirshhorn survey back in 2009; my reasons for loving it left her acolytes furious.) Today’s Pic is from 1962, in that first, fascinating moment when Truitt was working toward her mature minimalist style but when its roots in the world were still showing through.  The front of this piece still has traces of the picket fencing she had been using as a model for her sculpture; its back proudly reveals the bracing that holds it up. The modesty of those sources is of a piece, I think, with the shy, retiring essence of this white-on-white, barely visible sculpture. And there’s no way that doesn’t relate to the fact that it’s by a woman, still expected, in the era this was made, to fade into the background. Of course, what Truitt discovers in her mature work is that – when you’re a sculpture, at least – barely being there is a great way to demand close attention. (© Estate of Anne Truitt, The Bridgeman Art Library, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery)

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