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"Martin Puryear" at the Museum of Modern Art, with (from left) Untitled (1997), Untitled (2000), Old Mole (1985), Malediction (2006-2007), In Sheep’s Clothing (1996-1998) and Dowager (1990)
Photo by Richard Barnes
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by Charlie Finch

I guess I’ve been spoiled watching Martin Puryear’s sculpture unfold in the intimacy of McKee Gallery all these years. His black tar on mesh homunculae, which first emerged from the cocoon of the late 1980s, were particularly endearing when experienced one on one in a gallery setting. The romance of Puryear involved imagining his encounter with his materials, wood soaked in water, streched mesh and cooling tar, the comfort of their finished morphism.