Perceived Obstacles was published in conjunction with the exhibition "Richard Tuttle. Perceived Obstacles/Wahrgenommene Hindernisse," which traveled in Germany in 2000-2001. Like many of the exhibition catalogues that Richard Tuttle has designed, this book is itself a work of art. It presents over eighty facsimiles of work from Tuttle’s Perceived Obstacles series which originated in a collaboration between the artist and his wife, poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, on a poster design for the literature center at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery in New York. This design, PO 0 (1990), features a colorful grid of squares with superimposed lettering in a 1’ by 3’ format. Taking its dimensions from this format, this oversize book reproduces Tuttle’s artworks at full-scale.

Included in addition to the poster design are reproductions of a set of watercolors, a suite of diminutive lithographs, assemblages, oil paintings on fabric, and more. The size of the pages and the thin, pale grey newsprint on which the book is printed create a unique viewing experience. As with much of Tuttle’s work, the way in which a viewer adjusts to how the work is presented is an important part of the piece. As Tuttle says in a letter reprinted in the book, “The relationship of the obstacle to the format is the book. The field of each page-piece is exhaustive, rich. To show this, to make a statement, the book is ‘the show’.”

Tuttle’s letter plus an introduction by Erich Franz are printed in German and English. Brigitte Kalthoff translated the text. Silke Fahnert, Uwe Koch of Köln was responsible for the typography, and Art Publishing in Troisdorf-Spich for the lithography.

Perceived Obstacles is bound with a grey cloth spine and uncovered heavyweight boards. A calligraphic titling design decorates the covers.


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