1995
American
wire mesh, steel, tar, cedar, particleboard
United States
Overall: 87 × 49 × 24 in. (220.98 × 124.46 × 60.96 cm)
95.82
Not on view

“What I’m interested in is work that has a myriad of associations but is also extremely pared down.”

 —Martin Puryear

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.

Unsigned
Sydney and Frances Lewis Endowment Fund
2017: Martin Puryear, parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London, UK, September 19 - December 8, 2017

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
Puryear, Martin, and Ziba Ardalan. Martin Puryear. Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, 2017. (no 61, illus p. 61)

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).
(David McKee Gallery, New York) by 1995; Purchased by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in October of 1995. [1]

[1] Accessioned October 19, 1995.
© Martin Puryear

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