It’s Day 86 and I originally wasn’t going to do this artist (because I thought she was just a sculptor) until I saw her works on paper which I loved! Simple and yet so appealing to me. Join me in celebrating Anne Truitt today.
Anne Truitt (March 16, 1921 – December 23, 2004), born Anne Dean, was a major American artist of the mid-20th century.
She married James Truitt in 1948 (they divorced in 1969), and she became a full-time artist in the
1950s. A protégée of art critic Clement Greenberg in her youth, she worked within an extremely limited set of variables throughout her five-decade career. She made what is considered her most important work in the early 1960s anticipating in many respects the work of minimalists like Donald Judd and Ellsworth Kelly. She was unlike minimalists in some significant ways.
Truitt grew up in Easton, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and spent her teenage years in Asheville, North Carolina. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in psychology in 1943. She declined an offer to pursue a Ph.D. in Yale University’s psychology department and worked briefly as a nurse in a psychiatric ward at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She left the field of psychology in the mid-1940s, first writing fiction and then enrolling in courses offered by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C.
After leaving the field of clinical psychology in the mid-1940s, Truitt began making figurative sculptures, but turned toward reduced geometric forms after seeing works by Barnett Newman and Ad Reinhardt in 1961. Truitt’s first wood sculpture, titled First (1961), consists of three white vertical slates rooted in a block ground, each coming to a point and braced to each other at the rear, resembling a fragment of a picket fence. During a period spent in Japan with her husband, who at the time was the Japan bureau chief for Newsweek, she created aluminum sculptures from 1964 to 1967.
Before her first retrospective in New York she decided she did not like the works and
The sculptures that made her significant to the development of Minimalism were aggressively plain and painted structures, often large. Fabricated from wood and painted with monochromatic layers of acrylic, they often resemble sleek, rectangular columns or pillars. She applied multiple coats, alternating brushstrokes between horizontal and vertical directions and sanding between layers. The artist sought to remove any trace of her brush, sanding down each layer of paint between applications and creating perfectly finished planes of colour.
The recessional platform under her sculpture raised them just enough off the ground that they appeared to float on a thin line of shadow. The boundary between sculpture and ground, between gravity and verticality, was made illusory. This formal ambivalence is mirrored by her insistence that color itself, for instance, contained a psychological vibration which when purified, as it is on a work of art, isolates the event it refers to as a thing rather than a feeling.
The event becomes a work of art, a visual sensation delivered by color. The Arundel series of
paintings, begun in 1973, features barely visible graphite lines and accumulations of white paint on white surfaces. In the custard-color Ice Blink (1989), a tiny sliver of red at the bottom of the painting is enough to set up perspectival depth, as is a single bar of purple at the bottom of the otherwise sky-blue Memory (1981). Begun around 2001, the Piths, canvases with deliberately frayed edges and covered in thick black strokes of paint, indicate Truitt’s interest in forms that blur the lines between two and three dimensions.
Truitt is also known for three books she wrote, Daybook, Turn, and Prospect, all journals. In Prospect, her third volume of reflections, Truitt set out to reconsider her “whole experience as an artist”—and also as a daughter, mother, grandmother, teacher and lifelong seeker. For many years she was associated with the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was a professor, and the artists’ colony Yaddo, where she served as interim president.
Truitt died December 23, 2004 at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., of
complications following abdominal surgery. She was survived by three children and eight grandchildren, among them writer Charles Finch.
Biography is from wikipedia.
Whenever I do minimalist art, I find that figuring out something minimal and simple to paint is very difficult. Choosing colors is also hard!
But I did choose the colors and did paint and I liked what I came up with. It was a joy to paint and I hope you like it. I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 87.