°1989, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Lives and works in Brooklyn
© We Document Art, 2018
Subverting rigid boundaries of what constitutes a painting, Marta Tuttle (°1989, Santa Fe, New Mexico) uses textile techniques and organic materials such as wool and silk to create paintings that move within the scope of painting and sculpture.
The wool in each painting is spun by hand, producing a variation of line that is determined by the energy of the artist’s body. Afterwards, the material is woven, washed, and often pounded for hours. Elements of brass, bronze, found stones and stones cast from stainless steel add new layers of materiality.
A dialogue is created between the shifting levels of opacity amid the dense, irregular wool surface and fragments of dyed silk, allowing the space on, in and behind each wall piece to become an integral part of the work.
The natural ‘fluidity’ and ‘live-ness’ of the materials is what fascinates the artist. By manipulating these elements and framing them in wooden stretchers – which function as a structure or a ‘spine’ – Tuttle creates work that triggers a sense of visual touch, appealing to other sensorial entities than merely the eyes, and visualizing how we as body of matter locate ourselves in a world, which is matter as well.
The addition of small shelves, inspired by the architectural space of the gallery, function as visual landmarks to support the wall pieces. They contain a direct relationship with the paintings, visible in for example, the coloring scheme of the silk that is partly created by pigments made from ground stone.
The combination of sculptures and wall pieces interact by a language of stillness and motion; separated entities that form a rhythm when placed in the same room. The interplay between textile, landscape, body and architecture blends the boundaries of what constitutes traditional painting and sculpture. Combining the haptic and the visual, Tuttle creates work that goes beyond a mere visual experience.
Martha Tuttle exhibited in Luce Gallery, Turin (2018), Tilton Gallery, New York (2016 and 2018) and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago (2017). Her work has recently been purchased by MOMA New York.
Text by Lien Craps