Pace Galleries

Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle: Crossing Lines

Agnes Martin, Untitled #8, 1989. acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72" (182.9 x 182.9 cm). © 2017 Estate of Agnes Martin /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Agnes Martin, Untitled #8, 1989. acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72" (182.9 x 182.9 cm). © 2017 Estate of Agnes Martin /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Richard Tuttle, 13th Wire Piece, 1972. florist wire, nails and graphite, dimensions variable. © Richard Tuttle.

Richard Tuttle, 13th Wire Piece, 1972. florist wire, nails and graphite, dimensions variable. © Richard Tuttle.
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About Artists

Press Release

  • Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle: Crossing Lines

    New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new wire pieces by Richard Tuttle created in response to and installed with grey paintings by Agnes Martin. On view November 2, 2017 through January 13, 2018 at 32 East 57th Street, Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle: Crossing Lines marks the first time in nearly 20 years that works by the two artists and longtime friends have been shown together in a focused exhibition. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, November 2, from 6 – 8 p.m.

    Tuttle and Martin first met in the early 1960s at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York and remained close friends until Martin’s death in 2004. Martin was a contemporary of the Abstract Expressionists and identified her work with the movement, but her painting also presaged the arrival of Minimalism. Comprised of vertical and horizontal lines and grids painted upon washes of subdued color, Martin’s paintings delicately navigate line, surface, tone, and repetition, inducing a sense of serenity, much like a mantra. Tuttle, too, has investigated similar concerns of line, volume, color, shadow, and perception throughout his career. Whereas Martin operated largely within the confines of painting and drawing, Tuttle’s practice eludes formal categorization and is grounded in handmade constructions of ordinary materials, such as wire, tape, thread, and cardboard that are raised to the pinnacle of beauty.

    “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to bring together works by Agnes Martin and Richard Tuttle—two artists who shared such a special relationship with one another and are pivotal figures in the ongoing evolution of modern and contemporary art—and to reveal how much these artists acted from the same search of innocence and beauty,” said Arne Glimcher, Founder, Pace Gallery.

    Once the seven paintings by Martin, from the 1960s through the early 2000s, are installed and lit, Tuttle will create new wire pieces that respond to the paintings and engage with the distinct light and shadow of their illuminations. First begun in the early 1970s, Tuttle’s wire pieces exist as dimensional drawings comprising three elements: a pencil line on a wall, wire, and shadow. In an intensely physical process that Tuttle describes as “an activity,” wire is attached to the wall near the endpoints of the pencil line and then allowed to spring or fall away from the surface, creating its shadow as the third element of the piece. The final qualities and experience of each piece—the saturation of the shadow, the visibility and thrust of the wire, the thickness of the pencil line—result from the specificities of each one’s distinct environment fused with the artist’s own physicality.

    On the occasion of the exhibition, Tuttle shared:

    Relations often invite

    comparison, an idea

    I learned from Agnes

    Martin, who could

    decline showing for

    this reason. For me,

    comparison, in this

    case, is outweighed

    by an augmentation,

    where the access to

    each artist's work is

    facilitated, indeed,

    enhanced, by the

    other's, so many of

    the issues, present

    for each artist, shown

    in a necessarycom-

    pliment, otherwise

    left open and blank.

    Agnes Martin (b. 1912, Macklin, Saskatchewan, Canada; d. 2004, Taos, New Mexico), one of the most influential painters of her generation, left an indelible mark on the history of modern and contemporary art. Growing up in western Canada, she moved between New Mexico and New York throughout her early career. For a pivotal decade starting in 1957, Martin lived and worked in Coenties Slip, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan she shared with emerging artists including Ellsworth Kelly, before returning to New Mexico in 1967. Inspired by the transcendent qualities of paintings by Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt, Martin considered herself to be an Abstract Expressionist. Nonetheless, her oeuvre played a critical role in heralding the advent of Minimalism, influencing, among others, Eva Hesse’s sculptural practice and Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings. Characterized by austere lines and grids superimposed upon muted grounds of color, Martin’s paintings elegantly negotiate the confines of structure and space, draftsmanship, and the metaphysical.

    Richard Tuttle’s (b. 1941, Rahway, New Jersey) direct and seemingly simple deployment of objects and gestures reflects a careful attention to materials and experience. Rejecting the rationality and precision of Minimalism, Tuttle embraced a handmade quality in his invention of forms that emphasize line, shape, color, and space as central concerns. He has resisted medium-specific designations for his work, employing the term drawing to encompass what could otherwise be termed sculpture, painting, collage, installation, and assemblage. Overturning traditional constraints of material, medium, and method, Tuttle’s works sensitize viewers to their perceptions. His working process, in which one series begets the next, is united by a consistent quest to create objects that are expressions of their own totality.

    Pace is a leading contemporary art gallery representing many of the most significant international artists and estates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Founded by Arne Glimcher in Boston in 1960 and currently led by Marc Glimcher, Pace has been a constant, vital force in the art world and has introduced many renowned artists’ work to the public for the first time. Pace has mounted more than 900 exhibitions, including scholarly shows that have subsequently traveled to museums, and published over 450 exhibition catalogues. Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide: three galleries in New York; one in London; one in Palo Alto, California; one in Beijing; and spaces in Hong Kong, Paris, and Seoul. In 2016, the gallery launched Pace Art + Technology, a new program dedicated to showcasing interdisciplinary art groups, collectives and studios whose works explore the confluence of art and technology.

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