Martin PuryearOctober 2018—March 2019
Martin Puryear’s (b. 1941) extensive sculptural practice embraces the global traditions and cultural histories of woodworking. Influenced by his time studying in Sierra Leone and Stockholm, Puryear uses labor-intensive methods to explore concepts including identity and oppression. Fashioned out of handcrafted wood and reclaimed parts of a carriage that the artist found in a barn in France, The Load, 2012 contains a massive sphere resembling a human eye. Sited nearby, Big Phrygian, 2010–2014, a monumental sculpture of a “liberty cap,” is a symbol of resistance that appeared in both the American and French Revolutions. Part of the inaugural installation in the Pavilions, these works overlooked the Water Court platform which features a bench designed by Puryear in collaboration with master furniture maker Michael Hurwitz.