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Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions - Smithsonian American Art Museum
In past show

Medium
Image rights
© Martin Puryear, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Martin Puryear’s practice is dedicated to craftsmanship and traditional building techniques. Puryear, whose distinctive style has been considered a descendant of Minimalism, began studying many forms of craft in his youth; his variegated training includes carpentry, stone masonry, boat building, basketry, construction, and woodworking—many of which directly influenced Puryear when he began his artistic career in the 1970s. He is best known for his use of natural materials in creating his sculptures, including tar, rawhide, stone, wire, metals, and, most frequently, wood. His works are typically abstract and geometric; in Puryear’s words, he “makes things rather than representations of them,” and avoids references to time and place. Frequent themes in his sculpture include loss, uncertainty, and emptiness.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Anderson Collection at Stanford University
Selected exhibitions
2019
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983The Broad
2016
Martin Puryear: Big BlingMadison Square Park
Martin Puryear: Multiple DimensionsSmithsonian American Art Museum
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MLK Elegi, 1968

Softground etching and aquatint on shaped plate, with burnishing, printed in brown on ivory wove paper
Location
NW Washington, DC , Washington
Medium
Image rights
© Martin Puryear, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Martin Puryear’s practice is dedicated to craftsmanship and traditional building techniques. Puryear, whose distinctive style has been considered a descendant of Minimalism, began studying many forms of craft in his youth; his variegated training includes carpentry, stone masonry, boat building, basketry, construction, and woodworking—many of which directly influenced Puryear when he began his artistic career in the 1970s. He is best known for his use of natural materials in creating his sculptures, including tar, rawhide, stone, wire, metals, and, most frequently, wood. His works are typically abstract and geometric; in Puryear’s words, he “makes things rather than representations of them,” and avoids references to time and place. Frequent themes in his sculpture include loss, uncertainty, and emptiness.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Anderson Collection at Stanford University
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions
Other works by Martin Puryear
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