Anne Truitt (1921-2004)
Anne Truitt (1921-2004)
Anne Truitt (1921-2004)
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Property Sold to Benefit Art for Access at Bennington College
Anne Truitt (1921-2004)

Morning Moon

Details
Anne Truitt (1921-2004)
Morning Moon
signed and dated 'Truitt 26 June '69' (on the underside)
acrylic on wood
97 x 20 ½ x 20 ½ in. (246.4 x 52.1 x 52.1 cm.)
Executed in 1969.
Provenance
André Emmerich Gallery, New York
Kenneth Noland, Bennington, Vermont, 1970
Gift of the above to the present owner, 2001
Exhibited
Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Anne Truitt: Sculpture and Drawings 1961-1973, April-June 1974, no. 69.
Bennington College, Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery, Abstraction: Modernist Masters from the Bennington Collection, July-September 2014.
Bennington College, Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery, Unpacking the Vault: Hidden Narratives in the Bennington Art Collection, February-April 2018.

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Isabella Lauria
Isabella Lauria

Lot Essay

All great paintings are sculptures – there’s so much of the actualness about it that a great painting forces you into a visual, physical movement of yourself. That’s what determines the way you experience a painting kinetically. You move closer, you sight down it, you tilt your head, you step back, you feel as though you are in it. That being in it is just as important as looking from a distance. - Kenneth Noland

At an impressive seven-feet tall, Morning Moon is a superb example of Truitt’s signature totemic columns. The artist began to work with sculpture in the 60s after attending H. H. Arnason’s 1961 exhibition American Abstract Expressionists and Imaginists at the Guggenheim. As Arnason noted in the exhibition catalogue, the show celebrated a “single overpowering element” by showcasing works from emerging artists like Noland, Stella and Kelly. Reducing form and color to the most elemental, the column is essential to Truitt’s practice, a shape the artist would return to throughout her career: “As I worked along, making the sculptures as they appeared in my mind’s eye, I slowly came to realize that what I was actually trying to do was to take paintings off the wall, to set color free in three dimensions for its own sake” (A. Truitt, Daybook: The Journal of an Artist, 1982, New York, p. 81).
Despite the upward heft, Truitt masterfully achieves an intrinsic lightness by placing the wooden block on a quarter-inch riser. The anthropomorphic build is complimented by the devoted hand of the artist, who hand-painted and sanded a number of layers, sometimes as many as 30 or 40, in contrast to the mechanic finish of contemporaneous sculptures by Donald Judd and Robert Morris. Truitt made only eight sculptures in 1969, Morning Moon being the only one that is 97 inches tall, highlighting its rarity. It remained in the collection of Kenneth Noland for over thirty years in Vermont until it was gifted to Bennington College in 2001, an institution which has long-held admiration for Truitt. As Noland once said, "All great paintings are sculptures – there’s so much of the actualness about it that a great painting forces you into a visual, physical movement of yourself." Morning Moon's soft yet forceful command puts to the forefront just that—the duality of Truitt's work as both painting and sculpture and the physicality of the human experience of art.
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