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David Kordansky Gallery
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Richard Tuttle at David Kordansky


As a young art student, when I first came across Richard Tuttle’s work (particularly his “Wire Pieces” that consist of a thin piece of wire next to two delicate pencil markings applied directly on the wall), I remember thinking, “you can do that?” Tuttle has always been a boundary pusher, creating evocative works with minimal moves, and expanding the definition of what constitutes an art material. David Kordansky Gallery is currently exhibiting the artist for the first time and touts him as “one of the most representative American artists of the postwar period.”

On view at the gallery are a series of new abstract plywood forms that are embellished with spray painted marks. The works each include inset stair-step forms that interrupt their surfaces, and jagged cuts and wood splinters are left rawly exposed. Each work is titled after a “head” — “Child Rearing Head,” “Sticky Head,” “What is it About Head” — and Tuttle notably created these works in 2020 while recovering from COVID-19. And in the classic Tuttle way, through his minimal moves and poetic titles, these raw-edged wood forms might become pathways towards a deeper understanding of the human psyche.

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Image: Richard Tuttle, “Unlikely Head,” 2020. Image courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Jeff McLane.