Richard Tuttle’s ‘I Don’t Know. The Weave of Textile Language’

Renowned American artist Richard Tuttle’s largest-ever sculpture was installed in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Entitled ‘I Don’t Know. The Weave of Textile Language’ a huge floating sculpture that combines steel, timber and vast sways of fabric, enormous in its own right filling the Turbine Hall end to end.

Project Details

Designer: Richard Tuttle

Client: Tate

Location: Turbine Hall, Tate Modern

Combining an abstract steel and plywood structure (70m x 12m x 23m high) hanging from the ceiling draped in fabrics designed by the artist from man-made and natural fibres in three bold and brilliant colours intentionally juxtaposed with the Tate Modern’s cool, post-industrial aesthetic.

The sculpture had to hang over the public in a very public environment so construction was overseen by civic structural engineers Campbell Reith (Sivam Somers). The hanging points were designed with several fail safes and tested to over 3x loading with no sign of damage. The final structure was a steel structure with standard means of connection. This was linked with a completely innovative way of using rolled steel purling to give a very strong but lightweight structure.

Photo credit: Andrew Dunkley, Tate Photography

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