Is This an Idea for Sculpture?
The reason for the visit was his solo exhibition, the first in our gallery. On the day of his arrival, Richard set about installing the presentation. He had brought the eleven “Heavy Wire Pieces” with him in a tote bag. The fact that the “Heavy Wire Pieces” did not correspond to their name in terms of their actual weight made this simple procedure possible. All the more momentous and precise was the presence of the works in our gallery spaces.
Despite their modest dimensions, each individual work took up a wall of the gallery for itself, or at least a separate part of the wall. Ten works were each hung on a single nail, while another work required two.
The opening reception was held on Friday at 6:30pm. We had just moved and were now unveiling the gallery’s new location at Mühlegasse 27 with this sensitive yet spectacular exhibition.
The show offered an opportunity to see new works by this young artist who was possessed of an aura of mystery – an opportunity that was gladly seized. The number of discerning friends of contemporary art was small, but the intensity of interest and enthusiasm was impressive and by no means limited to Switzerland. Including the exhibition we are now showing, there have been a total of twenty individual presentations by Richard Tuttle in our gallery.
All of the gallery spaces we have occupied up until now have also become places where new groups of works claimed guest rights for the first time. In each case – and this can scarcely be adequately acknowledged – it consisted of an extraordinary event. Extraordinary in the literal sense, so to speak. Every order that one might have conceived was replaced by unforeseeable orders apparently discovered by the artist in the realm of the unknown. The fine, fragile and sensitive objects thus made reference to a different, other level. They became the starting point for a strange and intense transformation, and their inaugural presentation always had a special and unique significance.
The magnificent oeuvre of drawings should not go unmentioned. In 1979, the gallery published a book that makes the outstanding drawings from the 1970s accessible in an overview which remains unmatched to this day: “List of Drawing Material of Richard Tuttle & Appendices”. This was a momentous undertaking. The 289 sheets all found their way to museums and passionate collectors by way of the gallery.
“Is This an Idea for Sculpture?” A question functions as the title of our current exhibition. Expectations should therefore be no less than for any of the past shows Richard Tuttle has granted us over the years.
A further welcome occasion is the publication of “Collected Writings 1966 – 2019”, which has been compiled by Dieter Schwarz. A very special book object is the beautiful result for us to now behold, featuring the manifold and astonishing reflections, thoughts and wonderful linguistic excursions of this eminent artist personality.