Untitled (Primary Title)
“What I’m interested in is work that has a myriad of associations but is also extremely pared down.”
Puryear’s abstract sculptures, while often simple in shape and materials, are richly allusive. This combination of qualities links him to a group of artists loosely called Post-Minimalists. The dark, monolithic form of this piece suggests a colossal head or a primitive totem, although its asymmetry and its vessel-like quality recall organic forms like seedpods or gourds. Puryear finished the piece—a metal grid overlaid with squares of wire mesh—with a coating of tar. The coating defines the sculpture’s massive form, but viewers can peer into the piece and out the other side.
Martin Puryear, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, Match 6 - May 27, 2001; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, June 22 - August 26, 2001; University of California Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, September 12 - December 30, 2001; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, January 17 - April 21, 2002
Martin Puryear, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA, November 23, 1999 - January 9, 2000
Basel Art Fair, 1995
Ravenal, John B. Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2007. (Pp. 164-165).
Elderfield, John, et al. Martin Puryear. New York: MoMA, 2007. Exhibition catalogue. (No. 33, pp. 41-43).
Proctor, Roy. “Elements of Art.” Richmond Times- Dispatch, Sunday, March 4, 2001. (Pp. H-1, H-8).
Crutchfield, Margo A. Martin Puryear. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2001. Exhibition catalogue. (Pp. 30-31).
 Accessioned October 19, 1995.
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