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.