Anne Truitt: 'Sculpture 1962-2004'
By KAREN ROSENBERG The latest on the arts, coverage of live events, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more. Join the discussion. If you couldn't get to Washington in the fall for the Hirshhorn's nontraveling retrospective of Anne Truitt, here's an excellent capsule version. Presented in one of Chelsea's cleanest, airiest spaces, it maximizes the bracing physicality and phenomenological intensity of Ms. Truitt's painted-wood sculptures. Most of the show's 13 works, some of which were at the Hirshhorn, are dispersed throughout a large, square gallery. Stelelike, rectangular solids that vary subtly in shape and widely in color, they tease the typical Minimalist field of uniform, evenly spaced objects into something more irregular and unpredictable. Seen up close, they have as much to do with painting as with sculpture. Some have thin bands of contrasting color along the top or bottom edge. Others enhance or exaggerate the effects of light falling on a rectangular mass: with strategically employed white and pale blue in "First Spring" (1981), and two golden yellows in "Sun Flower" (1971). Illuminated by the room's four skylights, they slip between the second and third dimensions. Groupings like this tend to obscure dates, but two works tucked away in their own small galleries offer clues to Ms. Truitt's early development. "White: Four" (1962) can be reliably traced to the classic picket fence, while the stepped maroon and brown forms of "Gloucester" (1963) are more obliquely referential. Depending on how it's shown, Ms. Truitt's art can look architectural or, as it does at Matthew Marks, anthropomorphic. Here, it even transmits bodily cues: you might find yourself standing in place for a few seconds longer than normal, spine stiffened and shoulders squared. KAREN ROSENBERG A version of this review appeared in print on June 25, 2010, on page C27 of the New York edition....Read full story