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Santa Monica

December 25, 1987|CATHY CURTIS

Richard Tuttle is at it again in a batch of new sculptures that dress bravely idiosyncratic notions in humble materials with a perversely lame, apologetic air.

"Two" consists of a pair of cheap-material slipcovers scrunched up on twin sawhorses made of thin lengths of unpainted wood. Poked into this set-up, a black-painted stick and a longer piece of wood painstakingly gussied up with curving pencil lines reinforce the work's "misfit" character and baldly question what a viewer is willing to perceive as decoration.

In "Six," a wooden trestle work takes the form of a miniature forest of V's with a tall X--its upper portion filled in with a flag of bright green fabric--in the center. Some of the V's wear "hoods" of roughly basted fabric. In Tuttle's shy, mumbling way, he seems to be allowing as how this arrangement simultaneously suggests a colony of dwellings, the signals of a communication system and a blinkered non-involvement.

Tuttle's little drawings are sly and slight. "Five Set" fools around with dot-printed bits of fabric and drawn dots, which invade each other's turf in all-but-invisible ways. (BlumHelman, 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, to Jan. 30.)

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