Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Art and Art History


Charles Palermo

Committee Members

Elizabeth Mead

Timothy Costelloe

Xin Conan-Wu


Some of Anne Truitt’s formal strategies—such as using the separate faces of the work to force the viewer to engage in it sequentially—build or depend on real or literal facts of the “situation” of the artwork. If this is the case, how do such works escape being reducible to their objecthood, their literal properties of size and shape? And how do they produce effects that are not mere experience or mere affective response? The answer I offer is that they depend on conventions and interpretation.

Much of my analysis focuses on the ways Truitt makes her intentions visible through form, and specifically the way she develops the formal device of a standpoint—the suggestion of a position a viewer might inhabit to better grasp the meaning of the work. My interpretive approach involves a combination of close observation, conventional analysis, and a consideration of historical and biographical context, but my main focus is the work itself. I want to be careful not to suggest that intentions are linear, fixed, or always known. By intention, I mean to describe the messy process by which an author, first working from an intuition gets a work into a fixed form.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.