Pioneer of 1960s American Minimalism

Now representing the estate of Anne Truitt

Anne Truitt, New York, 1965 (b/w photo) / © / Bridgeman Images


Bridgeman is delighted to announce our representation of the estate of Anne Truitt. Truitt is best known for her austere abstract geometric sculptures, columns of wood a little taller than human height with bold, distinct coloring. Her works were heralded as forerunners of the American minimalist movement of the 1960s and she gained great support and publicity from the sometimes prickly art critic, Clement Greenberg. “If any one artist started or anticipated Minimal Art, it was she,” Greenberg said of Truitt.  Truitt said of her work, "What is important to me is not geometrical shape per se, or color per se, but to make a relationship between shape and color which feels to me like my experience. To make what feels to me like reality."

Anne Truitt was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1921. Originally wanting to be a therapist, she obtained her B.A. degree in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College in 1943 and later worked as an assistant in a psychiatric lab and as a nurse’s assistant. This grounding in psychiatry no doubt influenced her future exploration of minimalist art. In the late 1940s, Truitt studied for one year at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C., followed by several months at the Dallas Museum of Fine Art.

Truitt’s first solo exhibition was in 1963 at the Andre Emmerich gallery in New York and she was one of three women to be included in the influential 1966 exhibition, “Primary Structures” at the Jewish Museum in New York. Bridgeman holds images of Truitt's sculptures, Truitt's works on paper and canvas, as well as photos of the artist at work in her studio.

Valley Forge, 1963 (acrylic on wood), Truitt, Anne (1921-2004) / Private Collection / © / Bridgeman Images


Sea Garden, 1964 (acrylic on welded aluminium), Truitt, Anne (1921-2004) / Private Collection / © / Bridgeman Images


For more than 50 years, Truitt was a major figure in American art and an accomplished writer, publishing three journals: Daybook, Turn and Prospect. Anne Truitt died in Washington D.C. in 2004. Truitt's work is represented by Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will present a survey exhibition of Truitt’s work this fall. The exhibition will explore Truitt’s role in the development of geometric abstraction during the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by art historian James Meyer, author of Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties.  "Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection" will be on view from October 8 – January 3, 2010.


In addition to Anne Truitt, there were a group of influential American artists during the 60s who were defining a 'New Art'.  Whether they called themselves 'minimalists' or 'abstractionists' or 'color field' artists, they all had a similar drive to redefine what art could be and how it could be experienced. Bridgeman holds works by such artists as Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Sol Lewitt, Frank Stella, Barnett Newman, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Richard Serra, and Ellsworth Kelly among others.Their dialogue through painting, sculpture and discourse, ushered in a new era of art criticism and turned the focus onto ideas and space rather than the skill of the artist's hand.


Train Landscape, 1952-53 (oil on canvas), Kelly, Ellsworth (1923-2015) / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images


Toward Yellow, 1961 (oil on canvas), Noland, Kenneth (1924-2010) / The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel / Gift of the artist / to America-Israel Cultural Foundation / Bridgeman Images


View of a gallery at the Kunsthalle (photo) / Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany / Bridgeman Images



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