Anne Truitt, Triad, 1977


NARRATOR: Anne Truitt called this 1977 sculpture Triad, meaning "a group of three." Art historian James Meyer was friends with the artist.

JAMES MEYER: If you look at the work, it consists of two different but similarly valued planes of a kind of pale, sort of lavender. And at the corners is a sort of band of peach. And at the bottom you see a very slender red stripe. ...So you have three visual terms on the surface of the piece. Triad has references of a kind of tense balance. It's not two terms, but three. So it's almost as if that red little stripe at the bottom is holding the whole thing together in a kind of intensity. It's almost like a package being held together by a little string that could suddenly get pulled apart.

NARRATOR: Truitt belonged to the same generation as the Minimalist sculptors. She shared their interest in precise, geometrical forms—like the column. But the Minimalists wanted the viewer to respond to the object only as a physical fact. By contrast, Truitt found expressive qualities even in something as simple as the elongated proportions of this column. 

JAMES MEYER: That height and that slimness, which is something Truitt becomes very keen on in her later work, renders it less and less an object, and more and more something elusive, something pointing to a subject matter beyond its own physical materiality. 

 

Anne Truitt (1921-2004), _Triad_, 1977. Acrylic paint on wood. 90 9/16 × 8 × 8 in. (230 × 20.3 × 20.3 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Ann and Gilbert Kinney 2006.33 © artist or artist’s estate