Matthew Marks

Anne Truitt in Japan

11 Sep - 24 Oct 2015

1 April '65, 1965
Anne Truitt in Japan

September 11 - October 24, 2015
523 W 24 Street
Opening Thursday, September 10, 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Press Release
Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Anne Truitt in Japan, the next exhibition in his gallery at 523 West 24th Street. This exhibition will feature over thirty works on paper that Truitt made while living in Tokyo from 1964 to 1967 — a pivotal period for the artist, both creatively and personally.

In the arc of Truitt’s career, this period has sometimes been overlooked, even dismissed. The reason may be that Truitt, while preparing for a mid-career retrospective in the early 1970s, chose to destroy all nineteen of the sculptures made in Japan that were still in her possession. Many had never been exhibited; all were made of painted aluminum, a material Truitt had adopted in Japan but ultimately found unsuited to her aesthetic intentions.

Nonetheless, this process of discovery would be essential to the long-term clarification of Truitt’s approach to sculpture, and her work in aluminum constituted one of several studio innovations she developed in Japan — many in the form of drawings — that would profoundly inform her lifelong practice. As Truitt herself later commented, “If I had not gone to Japan, I would not know anything. I would not know what is what.”

This exhibition includes the full range of these works on paper, from veil-like fields of color to hard-edge polygons. Though their primary medium is acrylic paint, Truitt consistently referred to them as drawings. She applied color with brushstrokes and rollers, even soaked them in pans of diluted acrylic, often using materials she had discovered in Japan, including sumi ink and rice paper, some of which would remain an integral part of her art-making in subsequent decades.

Accompanying the exhibition is a hardback catalogue featuring an essay by art historian Anna Lovatt, full-color plates of over forty drawings, an extensive chronology illustrated with historical documents, and, reproduced here for the first time, photographs of the twenty-three sculptures Truitt made in Japan, all since lost or destroyed.

Anne Truitt (1921–2004) was born in Baltimore and spent most her life in Washington, DC. Her work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1973–74), the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (1974), and the Baltimore Museum of Art (1974 and 1992). In 2009 the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, organized a comprehensive survey of her work. In 2013 the three volumes of her acclaimed journals, Daybook (1982), Turn (1987), and Prospect (1996), were published together as an e-book for the first time, alongside a new print edition of Daybook.

Anne Truitt in Japan will be on view at 523 West 24th Street from September 11 through October 24, 2015, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

For further information, please contact Jeffrey Peabody at (212) 243-0200 or

Tags: Anne Truitt