Haverford College is pleased to announce that from the 4th of November to the 4th of December recent works by local artist Kevin Tuttle will be on display at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery in the Campus Center. On Friday November 4th, from 6pm-8pm, there will be an opening reception for the artist.
Kevin Tuttle received his MFA in Painting and Sculpture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1979. Tuttle remained in Greensboro until 1986, taught at the University from 1979-1982, and showed his work in a variety of group and individual exhibitions. In 1986 Tuttle relocated to the Philadelphia area, where he was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Haverford College in 1986-87 and 1992-94.
Tuttle's work in this exhibit consists primarily of large format paintings and painterly assemblages. “Voyage To Cytherea," titled after the Baudelaire poem, is the largest painting in the exhibition, standing on three panels at 9 ft tall by 15 ft wide. Two other pieces at about 2/3 this size combine with "Voyage..." as the focus of the show. Also on display ate a variety of other paintings as well as preparatory drawings for the larger pieces.
Tuttle draws his inspiration from various literary and art historical sources as indicated by his "Voyage to Cytherea" title referencing Baudelaire and Greek Mythology. Another major work in this exhibition is an assemblage of found material with the artist's own painting and sculpture entitled "Tomb to Baudelaire." This elaborate memorial to the 19th century French poet, while employing very modernistic aesthetics in its execution, oozes a nostalgia for the melancholic and romantic outlook of past literary and artistic genius. Tuttle's work frequently references other artists as well. Homer, Kafka, and Dostoyevsky inspire several of the other paintings on display.
Tuttle employs these canonical literary figures as a tool for the methodical exploration of the artistic impulse in general and of his own subconscious in particular. "Uselesses” another large format piece, is a complex assemblage of paintings, maps, and framing elements that evokes a psychological journey through a cyclical and pulsating reality. The word play referring to Homer's hero imbues the figure in the central panel with a sense of destiny, while at the same time questions the role of the contemporary artist. Although Tuttle seems to have a penchant for the macabre, his work is deeply contemplative and inspiring in both its visual richness and complexity as well as its profound historical precedent.