Rereading Anne Truitt

James Meyer: You turned eighty last year. Has age, in some way, affected your work?

Anne Truitt: I don't think age makes any difference except that it endows a person with freedom. Age cuts you off, untethers you. It's a great feeling. The other thing is, when you get to be eighty, you're looking back and down, out from a peak. I can look down and see my life from my own little hill; I see this plain, all the years of experience.

JM: Does that mean making the work is somehow easier?

AT: No, it's harder. It costs me much more; I have all those years that I have to face and it takes a certain amount of courage. It's not a light and foolish thing. Color is getting more complex and harder and harder to mix. There are more complexities in it because my own experience is much more complex.

JM: Is it physically more difficult to work?

AT: It's not more difficult to be faithful, but I have to be faithful to more and more. And I have less psychic energy as I get older. Heaven knows I have less physical energy!

JM: But it has not changed the fundamental process or ambition of the work. If anything, the ambition has increased.

AT: Yes, I would say, by leaps and bounds.

-excerpt from "Grand Allusion," James Meyer's interview with Anne Truitt, published in the May 2002 issue of Artforum.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: December 25, 2004.

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