Thursday, October 8, 2009

Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection

Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection opens today at the Hirshhorn. The show, which I saw yesterday, is excellent. It's a retrospective of her works from the 1960s up until shortly before she died in 2004. Truitt, who was born in Baltimore, lived in D.C. for much of her life and was friends with artists like Martin Puryear and Kenneth Noland. She studied psychology at Bryn Mawr and worked at Massachusetts General Hospital during World War II. And she lived in Japan for a spell when her husband, a writer for the Washington Post, was based there.

But interesting biography aside, Truitt's works are fascinating. There are several dozen works on paper, but the sculptures - tall, painted columns - provide a big bang. I'm often drawn to artists who explore color, and Truitt, who was friends with many of the Color Field painters, does. Her sculptures, which are often studies of single colors, appear in deep pinks, light greens, reds, black and yellow. They're almost all taller than I am, and while they're meant to be right on the floor, the Hirshhorn has them on risers of about four inches to protect from. Curator Kristen Hileman recommends walking around each sculpture to see how it changes from each angle.

"The work unfolds as you circulate around them," she said.

To kick off the Truitt show, there's a free panel discussion tonight with Hileman, artist Martin Puryear, former Truitt student Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame, and others. The talk is at 7 p.m. and tickets are available first come first served at 5:45.

Anne Truitt, A Wall for Apricots, 1968. Acrylic on wood, 72 5/8 x 14 x 14 in. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of Helen B. Stern, Washington, DC. Artwork © Estate of Anne Truitt/The Bridgeman Art Library.

1 comment:

Ben said...

nice to see Anne's work and story on your blog, her work keeps growing...