Martin Puryear Retrospective Now at MoMA


A major exhibition of work by the artist Martin Puryear opened this month at MoMA. The retrospective features approximately forty-five sculptures following the development of Puryear’s artistic career over the last thirty years, from his first solo museum show in 1977 to the present day.

Puryear’s objects and public installations—in wood, stone, tar, wire, and various metals—are a marriage of Minimalist logic with traditional ways of making. Puryear’s evocative, dreamlike explorations in abstract forms retain vestigial elements of utility from everyday objects found in the world.

In Ladder for Booker T. Washington, pictured above, Puryear built a spindly, meandering ladder out of jointed ash wood. More than thirty-five feet tall, the ladder narrows toward the top, creating a distorted sense of perspective that evokes an unattainable or illusionary goal.

Martin Puryear was a featured artist in Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century Season Two.

The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
New York, NY 10019

Exhibition on view November 4, 2007–January 14, 2008