Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In New York: Martin Puryear

There is an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of sculptures created between the 1970s and the present by Martin Puryear, a post-minimalist American artist. His primary materials are wood, steel and wire. His sculptures are simple, yet quite sensual and hypnotic. There is evidence in the work of his extensive travels in Africa and in Asia.

By far my favorite piece in the show is "Ladder for Booker T. Washington" (1996), created from ash and maple.

Although not apparent from the photo, this piece is suspended in midair in the Museum's large atrium and is 36 feet long. It is 22 3/4 inches wide at its base and tapers to 1 1/4 inches wide at the top. In person, it looks like it goes on to infinity!

Photography in the main exhibition hall was not allowed, but I was able to capture another piece on film that was exhibited outside the main venue, Greed's Trophy (1984), made from steel, wire, wood, rattan, and leather.

The entire exhibit can be found here.

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