Richard Tuttle at Pace Gallery

Installation View
What’s the Wind is a collection of seven new sculptures that artist Richard Tuttle calls ‘systems,’ and this description makes some sense after seeing the delicate balance of discrete, rough hewn elements. The disparity of parts adds some whimsy as do the simple colors and forms. Existing within the wooden platforms, the pieces create an environment almost like a ecosystem in a terrarium. I expected the parts to move like a Jean Tingley sculpture, but alas, they are frozen in a system that does not move, and is in fact dead. 
So what are these systems we are looking at? The press release describes them as “intensely self-referential,” but perhaps we can deduce something by the helpfully descriptive names if not the works themselves.

System 4, Hummingbird, 2011

The title Hummingbird suggests a flurry of intense movement that turns into a blur of motion. Here we have a duct tape spire rising high over an internal core of small parts flanked by two enormous boards. Or, we have a long beak, small fat body, and two strong wings keeping the hummingbird afloat.

Detail of System 4, Hummingbird

The body of the sculpture is open, and these little circles and plinths seem to me like they should be free moving rather than fixed.

System 3, Measurement, 2011

Measurement has large, candy colored suspended balls hovering over a circle. Here the fixed structure works to create tension as the balls seem to defy gravity. I had the rather more unfortunate impression of a banana split melting into a waiting mouth. Off hand, I’d say the ice cream isn’t going to fit in the “mouth” below, if that was what Tuttle was trying to measure.

Richard Tuttle’s Whats the Wind up at Pace Gallery through July 22.

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