Martin Puryear: MoMA Retrospective opens this weekend

The Museum of Modern Art is presenting a major exhibition of the sculpture of the acclaimed American artist Martin Puryear (b. 1941). The retrospective will feature 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 began his career in the 1970s alongside other members of the Post-Minimalist generation. Working primarily in wood, he has maintained an unwavering commitment to manual skill and traditional building methods. His sculptures are rich with psychological and intellectual references, examining issues of identity, culture, and history.

“Being at the opening of this show at moma was an amazingly wonderful and magical evening.” says Marjorie Roen “I went to the very exciting opening of this show in NYC and it was truly uplifting to my soul, a very inspired exhibit!!

Emotional content mixed with organic elements of expression. Amazing accomplishment. He is a 30 year ago Art school friend of my friend.

For me it was like a immensely large tree [the art show] growing in the middle of a cement Jungle [NYC]. Signs of life, expression, that are giving me hope .

I Highly recommend this show, and while I agree that moma may not be the best place to show his work, the contrast to that place was so striking that his work seemed very alive and sprouting right through the dullness.

Unlike other sculptors his age who emerged in the post-minimalist era, he values what he can make with his hands. His efforts are not just conceptual but physical.” As critic Michael Brenson once observed, ”Puryear has the ability to make sculpture that is known by the body before it is articulated by the mind.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication illustrating all works in the exhibition, with additional reference illustrations of the artist’s works and other comparative material. View Catalog

“Mr. Puryear’s work is humorous but not ironic,” says Roberta Smith of the New York Times”. It offers more integrity than innovation and proves repeatedly that accessible doesn’t rule out subtle.” Read the full Review

The exhibitin will be on display from November 4, 2007 to January 14, 2008

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