May 5 – June 11
Reception: Friday, May 5 from 6-8PM
Melody Tuttle’s figurative compositions oscillate between scenes of externality and self-reflection, an approach that imbues moments of perceived banality with extraordinary visual sensation. The title of the exhibition, 24-Hour World, was adapted from a Tracy Emin quote regarding the lifestyle of career artists, and Tuttle’s contemplative approach probes the solitary details of an examined life, choosing the rote and ritual tasks of personal maintenance as her subject matter. Tuttle’s figures appear in various states of leisure, self-care, and rumination, often engaged in the minute struggles of daily life or reclined in anguished or enticing repose.
The aesthetic quality of Tuttle’s paintings intimate stylistic influences as complex and disparate as the emotional expanse displayed on canvas. Sunkissed crimson figures recall the vibrant whirs of the Fauvist French Riviera or pop-colorist contemporaries like Peter Doig and David Hockney. The minimal adornments and geometrically pronounced architectures pair Tuttle’s expressionistic gesture with the quiet, cool configurations of California Modernist design. Each painting contains Tuttle’s signature coloration strategy with subtle visual indices that provide layers of potential signification, yet no such conclusion can be easily extracted from her symbolic interplay.
The visual appeal of Tuttle’s seemingly effortless composition is undercut by a precise and considered attention to line and form. Subtle geometric interventions upset the fluidity of each silhouette and create a painterly tension within the silent narrative of her often distressed figures. The source of the despondency in Tuttle’s tonality is never articulated, but themes of personal hygiene and domestic intimacies expose the tenuous distinction between public and private life, and in displaying their personal traumas, reveal simultaneously a desirable ideal and a relatable malaise.
Melody Tuttle (b. 1985 Des Moines, IA) received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017. Tuttle has recently been included in group exhibitions at Hashimoto Contemporary, New York, and Hyacinth Gallery, New York. She has presented solo exhibitions at Thierry Goldberg, New York, UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles, and Great State Gallery, Chicago. This is her first solo exhibition with Hyacinth Gallery.