January 11, 2011

anne truitt: the anxiety of uncertainty

it seems I have learned to bear the anxiety of uncertainty. now I accept that one can't know ahead of time what is on the other side. you might say my new works project a greater degree of jeopardy.
anne truitt

bloomsday 1962

southern elegy 1962

primrose 1962

gloucester 1963

keep 1963

parva V 1974

grant 1974

creswell 1980

parva XXV 1993

twining court I 2001

anne truitt’s studio
photo by jerry marshall

Anne Truitt, a major figure in American art for more than 40 years, abandoned work in psychology and nursing in the 1950s to concentrate on art. Truitt drew, painted, and wrote, but she is best known for her large, vertical, wooden sculptures meticulously covered in many coats of paint. "I've struggled all my life to get maximum meaning in the simplest possible form," she said in an interview with The Washington Post in 1987. Although she is often labeled a Minimalist, Truitt's integration of painting and sculpture, her use of color, and her dedication to the relationship between meaning and form differentiate her work from that movement.

Truitt (born 1921) grew up in Easton, on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Her work has been shown in one-person exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Hirshhorn Museum, also in Washington, D.C., which mounted a retrospective exhibition of her work in 2009. She is represented in the collections of many leading museums, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Truitt received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and five honorary doctorates, and was acting director of Yaddo, the artists' retreat in New York, in 1984. Anne Truitt died in 2004.

all photographs © estate of anne truitt / the bridgeman art library / courtesy matthew marks gallery, new york

many thanks to alexandra truitt (estate of anne truitt) for making these images available and to philip tan (matthew marks gallery) for his assistance on the project.

more anne truitt
more minimal sculpture