The male-dominated Minimal art movement of the 1960s was characterized by an interest in basic geometric shapes and the use of industriallyproduced materials. Although many critics consider Anne Truitt (19212004) to be a pioneer of Minimal art, she set herself apart from the movement by focusing instead on color and content. Anne Truitt: Luminosities, on view October 15, 2011 January 8, 2012, celebrates the groundbreaking work of this prolific artist with a 12-piece exhibition, including the Museums recently acquired sculpture Thirtieth (1962) and 11 works on paper from the 1970s and 1980s.
Drawn from the Museums permanent collection and a private collection in Wilmington, Delaware, the works featured in Anne Truitt: Luminosities explore the subtleties of light and color through abstract two- and three-dimensional forms and the artists desire to make light visible for its own sake. Thirtieth, one of Truitts tall, rectangular wooden sculptures is an example of the artists earlier three-dimensional work, while the 11 acrylic washes of color on paper highlight her later experiments with two-dimensional art.
The recent donation of Thirtieth by Delaware resident Lynn Herrick Sharp, which was featured in Truitt's first solo gallery exhibition in 1963, prompted this focused exhibition and provided an opportunity to re-examine the ten works on paper already included in the Museum's contemporary collection. Sharp explained, I donated Thirtieth because I thought it was an excellent opportunity to add an important contemporary work to the Museums growing collection of contemporary art.
Anne Truitt was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1921 and spent much of her youth on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She obtained a BA in psychology from Bryn Mawr College and trained at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Washington, DC, and later at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Truitts first solo exhibition was held in 1963 at the André Emmerich Gallery in New York, and she was included in one of the first museum exhibitions devoted to Minimalist sculpture, Primary Structures, in 1966 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Her work has been the subject of exhibitions at several museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1973, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1974, and the Georgia OKeeffe Museum in 2000. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, organized a major retrospective in 2009 that included sculpture and works on paper.
Truitt received numerous honors throughout her careerincluding fellowships from both the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Artsand taught at the University of Maryland from 19751991. She also wrote extensively on her art-making practice and published three booksDaybook (1982), Turn (1987), and Prospect (1996). Truitt died in December 2004 in Washington, DC.
Anne Truitt: Luminosities was organized by the Delaware Art Museum
. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the
National Endowment for the Arts.