Gallerynote 2/2003

May 7 to August 15, 2003

Early on in preparing the exhibition, Richard Tuttle had already chosen a name for the event now being announced. He thus established a premise that, based on an understanding of the work, is up to us to explain here without diminishing or narrowing the event through description and analysis.

For those familiar with the artist's oeuvre and working method, the exhortation implied in the title makes complete sense. What exactly is to be celebrated remains an unspecified obligation. The new and unknown await, not corresponding to a linear logic of development. All the previous knowledge accumulated by those who have observed and followed the work over the years should not let that become a trap the artist has to fall into.: This approach, however, is not merely a clever method for the sake of a surprise effect. Rather, this is the way the artistic work sorts itself out and emerges. Conventions and current coding make the burden easier for the art observer, yet the anticipatory delight denies the actual delight upon experiencing the work its rightful place. The artist refuses to facilitate such misunderstanding, and for this he is prepared to pay the price. Failure and success are therefore confederates in an earnest game.

In an idiosyncratic way, the expectation of the artist is made one with the expectation of the observer. The space, location and time where all the participants come together is the exhibition. And hence, correspondingly important is its role.

Fourteen solo exhibitions of Richard Tuttle's work have been hosted by the Annemarie Verna Gallery since 1974. All of them without a doubt memorable manifestations of an artist who always makes the highest demands on himself and his friends.

A major retrospective on the artist is currently in preparation. It is set to begin next year in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SFMOMA and subsequently go on tour in five more American museums.