On exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art are the works of artist MARTIN PURYEAR. I made an image of some of the sculptures including “Ladder for Booker T. Washington,” 1996, ash and maple (top photo). The exhibit runs through January 14, 2008 at MOMA which is located at 11 West 53rd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Martin Puryear (b. 1941) is an acclaimed American artist. The MOMA exhibit features about 45 pieces of sculpture, following the development of Puryear's artistic career, 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. He uses wood primarily, and he remains committed to manual skill and traditional building methods. His sculptures are rich with psychological and intellectual references, examining issues of identity, culture, and history.
“I value the referential quality of art, the fact that a work can allude to things or states of being without in any way representing them. The ideas that give rise to a work can be quite diffuse, so I would describe my usual working process as a kind of distillation – trying to make coherence out of things that can seem contradictory. But coherence is not the same as resoution The most interesting art for me retains a flickering quality, where opposed ideas can be held in tense coexistence.” - Martin Puryear, 2007