Imaging the In-between: The Serial Art of Richard Tuttle


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History


Since 1964, the American artist Richard Tuttle (b. 1941) has made approximately 300 discrete series in the mediums of drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and painting. Although Tuttle’s commitment to serial art is unrivaled within the postwar period, his art has yet to be interpreted in conjunction with seriality, perhaps because it so deliberately confounds our expectations of the series. Unlike most serial art, Tuttle’s series neither repeat nor progress in any discernible way. Instead, they appear incoherent, unfinished, and unresolved. As the first study of Tuttle’s serial art, this dissertation examines the artist’s subversive reliance on serial modes of production, arguing that Tuttle uses seriality in order to challenge conceptions of art as a solution by imaging a process that is always in-between a question and its answer.