Martha Tuttle. Seeing water through thin ice in early springtime, 2024


Born in Santa Fe in 1989 and living in Brooklyn, Martha Tuttle has managed to introduce her work to collections such as those of MoMA, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Philadelphia Museum of Art by appealing to nature and artisanal values. : emphasizes the materiality of his paintings by resorting to processes such as dyeing and sewing and uses only substances of non-synthetic origin. The translucent silk fragments of it dye them with plant matter and iron; On other occasions, she refers to the elemental tones of the earth using pigments extracted from the stone.

A selection of his most recent projects can already be seen in “Touch/Stone”, his first exhibition at the Peter Blum Gallery in New York, open until May 18: it features pieces whose dividing marks suggest the cracking of a geological topography and which, sometimes, add layers of thick wool that the artist spins and weaves, as well as painted linen that favors three-dimensionality, an approach to sculptural parameters. Its support is made up of visible bars, some blackened by fire, which not only perform this support function, but also generate a particular compositional balance and reinforce the invocation of the basic elements of the landscape.

Martha Tuttle.  Touch/Stone.  Peter Blum Gallery, 2024

The addition of found or carefully crafted stones further promotes the presence of the physical and tactile in these multi-panel compositions; Tuttle herself, or people related to the author, have collected the first ones in areas of the southwest of the United States and among those who have collected them, a network of knowledge and connection has been generated focused on minerals: this collaboration is an important part of their creative processes. Other “stones” included in the exhibition are cast in glass or aluminum and appear next to the rocks found; For the artist, they represent an attempt at dialogue with substances and timelines that remain beyond human reach; By uniting simulacra minerals and pebbles she seeks to offer broad possibilities for reflection on our ways of relating both to the fruits of geology and to the remote past of the earth around us.

In this sense, the convergence of macro and micro elements in these works stands out, which has to do with another desire of Tuttle, that of alluding in his production to vast extensions, such as landscapes or celestial landscapes, without leaving aside the examination and the study of details that include the geological and biological. He proposes that materializing those connections between the immense and the small will ultimately allow us to envision expanded and often overlooked kinships, metaphors for our own intimacies within the geology that surrounds us. Furthermore, he imagines whether deepening our sensitivity towards the greatness and smallness of natural environments could favor an improvement in human relationships.

Martha Tuttle Reading HD's Helen in Egypt, 2024
Martha Tuttle.  Seeing water through thin ice in early springtime, 2024

Rethinking the meaning of the expression “touchstone” and its connotations, and the relationship between stones and compassion, Tuttle has written about our ties to the ground in emotional terms: “It can be very tender to bond with a stone. To move it from one apartment to another, to give it a privileged place on a window sill. Perhaps, to be personally involved with something geological is, in some small way, to care more about connections than boundaries. Anything that can increase our empathy, even just a little, is worth having on hand.”

His tactile paintings evoke an intuitive relationship between touch and matter and remind that, in an abstract sense, a touchstone – to which they can be assimilated – could be conceived as an object that physically or metaphorically offers an element of clarity, information that guides and it makes sense. Even a primitive form of purity, for being reduced to the central, significant and without confusion, lacking additional details or distractions. A point to return to when looking for a base.

Martha Tuttle.  Personal Routine, 2024
Martha Tuttle.  Metronome Painting (6), 2024
Martha Tuttle.  Flowers, nova, 2024

Martha Tuttle. “Touch/Stone”


176 Grand Street


From March 28 to May 18, 2024

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