“Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective,” will open at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on June 28. Tuttle, who will attend the opening, is known for his minimalist drawings and textiles. His work is also currently featured at the Tate Modern in London and the Pace Gallery in New York City. The Bowdoin exhibit, though, is unique because it will focus solely on Tuttle’s print work. 

The exhibition will feature one of Tuttle’s earliest prints titled “In Praise of Historical Determinism,” which is in the Bowdoin collection. It was acquired through an alumni group known as the Collectors’ Collaborative.

Other Bowdoin-owned works include 11 Tuttle drawings the College received recently from the Vogel Collection and seven Tuttle works given by the family of Eric Silverman ’85. They will be featured at the Museum alongside the print show, as part of a side exhibition. 

Museum Co-Director Anne Goodyear and Museum Curator Joachim Homann said Bowdoin students will have the opportunity to engage directly with the works before the show closes on October 19. Both Tuttle and Director of the Tate Modern Museum Chris Dercon will be at the opening.  Tuttle lives in Mount Desert, Maine part-time. 

“I think [he] opens up the creative imagination and I think he encourages us to think freely and leave behind assumptions,” said Goodyear.

Students will get the opportunity to have an interactive experience with the exhibition during the fall semester, as it will be used for a variety of programs involving Bowdoin’s printmaking faculty and outside speakers.

Goodyear and Homann were also quick to share their enthusiasm for how well the show fits at Bowdoin. According to Homann, the intimacy and international exposure that Bowdoin can provide were part of the draw for Tuttle. 

“He was looking for a place with a record of engaging with prints on a daily basis, and engaging students with prints. It just so happens that Bowdoin is the perfect fit in this regard,” said Homann.

While many students on campus have not yet heard of the Tuttle show, response upon learning about it was generally positive.

According to Homann, this exhibition diverges from the style of recent summer shows.
“It’s going to be different from summer shows of the last three years that have made a statement about Maine or about New England, since it is non-representational,” said Homann.