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Penny Truitt
Chiaroscuro Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Amanda Malloy

Penny Truitt, "Crosscurrents I," 2017, steel, 14 x 18 x 9"

Continuing through June 2, 2018

Having been a ceramic sculptor for the majority of her career, Penny Truitt’s newest body of work is an exploration of a new medium for the artist: steel. In “Confluence” each work incorporates two elements that “further explore the possible arrangement of components and look for various orientations that reveal the unexpected — redefining the relationship and shifting of perception,” as the artist explains. The relationships of the two sculptural elements in each work allows for a celebration of form, balance, and composition.

Truitt received her BA in Classical Archaeology from Boston University, and had no formal studio training. Thus her awareness of and experimentation with line and shape is self taught. Although all of the sculptures are an industrial medium, there emphasize a soft, organic quality. The pieces are kept to neutral tones of matte black and textured browns, yet in some, like “Edge II,” Truitt surprises us with subtle yet pleasing pops of rusty reds and burnt oranges writhing out of the bends and curves of dark steel. While the majority of pieces are wall hangings, “Crosscurrents I” and “Crosscurrents II” can be found sitting on a pedestal and windowsill respectively, and are among the most striking works here. While the wall hangings are lovely, the element of design dominates. The “Crosscurrents” pieces stand out for their balance, shape and use of negative space. There is a magnetic quality to the elements of these two pieces. In both two separate sculptural forms sit only millimeters apart. The two works form one aesthetic experience: their shapes, the spaces they leave empty, shifting and changing as we move around them. Viewing “Confluence” is like stumbling upon a beautiful and unusual group of rock formations, or a hidden slot canyon in the New Mexico desert.

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