Spurred on by the recent traveling retrospective, Tuttle's sublimely understated sculpture and works on paper are undergoing a renaissance of appreciation. Since his earliest shows in the 1960's, Tuttle has always been an important figure on the contemporary art scene, but the ephemeral and often onerous installation requirements have made him an artist who is often spoken about, but seldom seen.
Untitled is one of a group of exquisite small-scale sculptures that the artist executed at this time. Generally made of wood, they are abstract, but evocative of forms found in nature or in everyday objects. Tuttle's brilliance lies in his ability to create works from the humblest of materials and the simplest of forms. The present lot, created with a small piece of wood that has been cut to shape by the artist, calls to mind an abstracted shirt or sweater, with a central trunk and outstretched arm. Formally, it is related to series of wood relief sculptures from the mid-1960's, which also consist of shaped and suggestive wood forms, albeit on a much grander scale.
Unlike most artists, Tuttle's work does not necessarily gain in importance with a larger-scale, and Untitled is an astounding and heartfelt example from a particularly sought after period in the artist's work. This work has remained in the same private collection since its creation in 1971.