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Anne Truitt Works On Paper

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The sculptures that made her significant to the development of Minimalism were aggressively plain and painted structures, often large. Fabricated from wood and painted with monochromatic layers of acrylic, they often resemble sleek, rectangular columns or pillars. Truitt produces in scale drawings of her structures that are then produced by a cabinetmaker. The structures are weighed to the ground and are often hollow, allowing the wood to breathe in changing temperatures. She applies gesso to prime the wood and then up to 40 coats of acrylic paint, alternating brushstrokes between horizontal and vertical directions and sanding between layers. The artist sought to remove any trace of her brush, sanding down each layer of paint between applications and creating perfectly finished planes of colour. The layers of paint build up a surface with tangible depth. Additionally, the palpable surface of paint conveys Truitt's ever-present sense of geography in the alternating vertical and horizontal paint strokes, which mirror the latitude and longitude of an environment. Her process combined "the immediacy of intuition, the remove of prefabrication, and the intimacy of laborious handwork. " The recessed platforms under her sculptures raised them just enough off the ground to appear to float on a thin line of shadow. The boundary between sculpture and ground, between gravity and verticality, was made illusory. This formal ambivalence is mirrored by her insistence that color itself, for instance, contained a psychological vibration which when purified, as it is on a work of art, isolates the event it refers to as a thing rather than a feeling. The event becomes a work of art, a visual sensation delivered by color. The Arundel series of paintings, begun in 1973, features barely visible graphite lines and accumulations of white paint on white surfaces. In the custard-color Ice Blink (1989), a tiny sliver of red at the bottom of the painting is enough to set up perspectival depth, as is a single bar of purple at the bottom of the otherwise sky-blue Memory (1981). Begun around 2001, the Piths, canvases with deliberately frayed edges and covered in thick black strokes of paint, indicate Truitt's interest in forms that blur the lines between two and three dimensions.

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