Richard Tuttle, System 3, Measurement, 2011. Plywood, poplar struts, bolts, enamel, balsa wood, carpet tile, molding, vinyl-coated steel cable, galvanized metal, archival paper with acrylic and graphite, duct tape, Saran wrap, paper clips, shrink-wrap, rice paper, balloons, and mixed media, 350.5 x 243.8 x 243.8 cm.

Richard Tuttle

New York

The Pace Gallery

The wizardry of Richard Tuttle’s work lies in his visionary use of materials and found objects that, by themselves, do not offer much visual appeal. But once the poles, balls, cotton, and string are pieced together, they create outstanding ad hoc environments, the elements supporting each other in ways that emphasize Tuttle’s off-hand eccentricity. Given to a principled eclecticism, Tuttle’s pieces remind us that his aesthetic dresses down but never succumbs to an overly simplistic sensibility. Instead, an exploratory experimentalism looks to the demotic in a visual sense, arranging bits and pieces of found materials that underscore the freedom of the imagination. Tuttle, who had his first solo show at Betty Parsons Gallery in 1965, has had mixed reviews over the years—the conservative critic Hilton Kramer abhorred his work—but there is an increasing consensus that his art belongs to an exploratory bent, one that is deeply American in its radical stylization and emphasis on raw components. Tuttle’s recent sculptures—assemblages, really—belong to a series called “Structures” and relay his skepticism about big gestures in three-dimensional art.…see the entire review in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.