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Delaware Art Museum Announces Anne Truitt Luminosities

The male-dominated Minimal art movement of the 1960s was characterized by an interest in basic geometric shapes and the use of industrially- produced materials. Although many critics consider Anne Truitt (1921–2004) to be a pioneer of Minimal art, she set herself apart from the movement by focusing instead on color and content. Anne Truitt: Luminosities, on view October 15, 2011 – January 8, 2012, celebrates the groundbreaking work of this prolific artist with a 12-piece exhibition, including the Museum’s recently acquired sculpture Thirtieth (1962) and 11 works on paper from the 1970s and 1980s.

Drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection and a private collection in Wilmington, Delaware, the works featured in Anne Truitt: Luminosities explore the subtleties of light and color through abstract two- and three-dimensional forms and the artist’s desire to make light “visible for its own sake.” Thirtieth, one of Truitt’s tall, rectangular wooden sculptures is an example of the artist’s earlier three-dimensional work, while the 11 acrylic washes of color on paper highlight her later experiments with two-dimensional art.
The recent donation of Thirtieth by Delaware resident Lynn Herrick Sharp, which was featured in Truitt’s first solo gallery exhibition in 1963, prompted this focused exhibition and provided an opportunity to re-examine the ten works on paper already included in the Museum’s contemporary collection. Sharp explained, “I donated Thirtieth because I thought it was an excellent opportunity to add an important contemporary work to the Museum’s growing collection of contemporary art.”

Anne Truitt was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1921 and spent much of her youth on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She obtained a BA in psychology from Bryn Mawr College and trained at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Washington, DC, and later at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Truitt’s first solo exhibition was held in 1963 at the André Emmerich Gallery in New York, and she was included in one of the first museum exhibitions devoted to Minimalist sculpture, Primary Structures, in 1966 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Her work has been the subject of exhibitions at several museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1973, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1974, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in 2000. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, organized a major retrospective in 2009 that included sculpture and works on paper.

Truitt received numerous honors throughout her career—including fellowships from both the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts—and taught at the University of Maryland from 1975–1991. She also wrote extensively on her art-making practice and published three books—Daybook (1982), Turn (1987), and Prospect (1996). Truitt died in December 2004 in Washington, DC.

Image: 22 July ‘71, 1971 Anne Truitt (1921 – 2004) Acrylic on paper, 22 1/2 x 30 inches Delaware Art Museum, Gift of Ronald J. Bortnick, M.D., 1995 © Estate of Anne Truitt / The Bridgeman Art Library / Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

About the Delaware Art Museum
The Delaware Art Museum, located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806, is open Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon – 4:00 p.m. Admission fees are charged as follows: Adults (19 – 59) $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Students (with valid ID) $6, Youth (7 – 18) $6, and Children (6 and under) free. Admission fees are waived every Sunday. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714 (toll free), or visit the website at

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