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Original Art?

Works at the Menil and Texas Gallery suggest artists can still be unique -- even in imitation

The perceptual elusiveness of Tuttle's work is heightened by the fact that its playful combinations of wire, wood, found materials and now insulbead (like Styrofoam) remain difficult to classify, so consistently has Tuttle been a creator of things graceful and lyrical, clumsy and unlovely. The "Turnarounds" seemingly unfold in time, and the viewer must mentally deconstruct them to grasp the interplay of their individual elements.

Tuttle's forms have always been close to Arp's reliefs or to Miro's flat-edged asterisks. These days, however, Tuttle's investigations are more attuned to Paul Klee's similarly skewed but accurate sense of observation and humor. In any case, it's wonderful to see an exhibition of subtle art that seems to be withstanding the test of time very nicely. Taken as a whole, these works continue to embody a form of art which Tuttle has made distinctly his own, eliminating the possibility of imitation by others.

"Newborn" by Sherrie Levine will show through January 15 at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross, 525-9400.

Richard Tuttle's works will show through January 14 at Texas Gallery, 2012 Peden, 524-1593.

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