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Richard Tuttle, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Untitled (on artist), 1979. Pigment on bleached cotton muslin. 72 x 26 inches (182.88 x 66.04 cm). Photo credit: Will Brown. Richard Tuttle, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. The Thinking Cap (detail). 1998. Pigment on cotton, and stainless steel. 12 x 8.5 x 7.5 inches (30.48 x 21.59 x 19.05 cm). Edition of 5. Photo credit: Aaron Igler. Richard Tuttle, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. The Thinking Cap (installation view). 1998. Pigment on cotton, and stainless steel. 12 x 8.5 x 7.5 inches (30.48 x 21.59 x 19.05 cm). Edition of 5. Photo credit: Will Brown.
Richard Tuttle, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Untitled (on artist), 1979. Pigment on bleached cotton muslin. 72 x 26 inches (182.88 x 66.04 cm). Photo credit: Will Brown.
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Richard Tuttle, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. The Thinking Cap (detail). 1998. Pigment on cotton, and stainless steel. 12 x 8.5 x 7.5 inches (30.48 x 21.59 x 19.05 cm). Edition of 5. Photo credit: Aaron Igler.
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Richard Tuttle, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. The Thinking Cap (installation view). 1998. Pigment on cotton, and stainless steel. 12 x 8.5 x 7.5 inches (30.48 x 21.59 x 19.05 cm). Edition of 5. Photo credit: Will Brown.
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Richard Tuttle

In 1978, and again nearly twenty years later in 1997, Richard Tuttle collaborated with the FWM to create new projects using fabric. Occurring as they did at such different phases of the artist’s career, not to mention different periods of the FWM’s history, his works are interesting to compare.

During his first residency, Tuttle embraced the silkscreen printing process and the idea of fabric to make a series of clothing—Shirts in 1978 and Pants in 1979. Functional in nature, these projects rely on the ability of silkscreen printing to repeat endlessly. The dramatic gesture of the simply designed Pants is accentuated by the broad lightning bolt pattern and the elongated length—they extend beyond the feet of their wearer, so that long trains of printed fabric limit motion. These projects were the costumes for a performance in 1979, in which members of the Pennsylvania Ballet danced.

Tuttle’s 1997 project, The Thinking Cap, also utilizes the silkscreen printing process and maintains a connection to conceptual fashion, yet instead of a shape connecting to the body, this more recent work focuses on the mind. Slight and peculiarly shaped with four protruding arcs, the small cap is clearly not intended to be worn. In his 1998 exhibition at the FWM, Tuttle displayed The Thinking Cap on another collaborative project, entitled 24—a minimal sculptural table. It seems an offhanded placement, yet the table overlooks 20th century design paradigms much in the same way the cap ignores the scale and material of “serious” sculpture.

Bio

American, born 1941, lives in New York City and Abiquiu, New Mexico
Richard Tuttle, one of the most significant artists working today, has created an extraordinarily varied body of work that eludes historical or stylistic categorization. Following his studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (BA, 1963), he worked in New Mexico as an assistant to painter Agnes Martin. Tuttle’s first solo exhibition was in 1965 at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, and since that time his work has been shown in hundreds of one-person and group exhibitions and has become part of major private and public collections around the world. Early important exhibitions included a 1972 Projects series installation at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1972), and a 1975 show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Tuttle’s work was the subject of an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2002), and was included in the Venice Biennale in 1997 and 2001. A recent retrospective of Tuttle's work, organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2005), traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2005-2006), the Des Moines Art Center (2006), the Dallas Museum of Art (2006), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2006-2007), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007). Tuttle was the 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Getty Research Institute. In 2014, Tuttle was the subject of two landmark textile and print surveys: Richard Tuttle: I Don't Know . The Weave of Textile Language originally conceived as a 3-part project organized by Whitechapel Gallery in association with Tate Modern, London; and Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. The artist lives and works in Mount Desert, Maine; Abiquiu, New Mexico; and New York City.