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Martin Puryear Sculpture from Grandma's collection

 
 
deepaw
 
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2016 02:04 pm
Hey guys,

Here is yet another piece from my grandma's collection--this one is pretty cool. I believe it is a Martin Puryear piece that she purchased some years ago--she always bought good art, and I haven't any reason to believe differently for this piece. However, Grandma was a terrible speller (notice the label that SHE had made, with misspellings of the artist's name, as well as the word 'sculpture') and there is not further labeling with the piece. I also believe that the marble base was something she had made up for the piece. I am obviously going to continue digging, but I was wondering if anyone recognized this piece, or could help me along the way.

As you can see, it is VERY well executed, and beautiful. I cannot even fathom how such a piece is crafted out of so many different pieces of wood. It is undoubtedly a masterwork.

Below find a link to the images:
http://imgur.com/a/9v0JH

Thanks for your help and input!
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2016 03:48 pm
@deepaw,
very cool, a nautiloid (Very smooth shell, we can tell the approximate evolutionary pattern by looking at the shell sutures. The more modern, the fewer sutures.

Carving isnt a big deal but the glue-up of all the woods to make a different pattern in all three dimensions, that takes some thinking.

0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Sun 5 Jun, 2016 07:38 am
Martin Puryear is still alive. It would be very easy for him to verify if this is his or not.

Was your grandmother left handed?

Martin Puryear

https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.M6137ab4648675a8451ede78be3b054aao1%26pid%3D15.1&f=1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Martin Puryear
Born May 23, 1941 (age 75)
Washington D.C.
Nationality United States
Education The Catholic University of America.
Yale University
Known for Sculpture
Awards Guggenheim Fellowship
MacArthur Foundation Fellowship
Rome Prize
Exhibition in Washington, D.C. in 2008

Martin Puryear (born May 23, 1941) is an American artist known for his devotion to traditional craft. Working in wood and bronze, among other media, his reductive technique and meditative approach challenge the physical and poetic boundaries of his materials.[1]:54-57

Life

Born in 1941 in Washington, D.C., Martin Puryear began exploring traditional craft methods in his youth, making tools, boats, musical instruments, and furniture.[2] After receiving a B.A. in Fine Art from the Catholic University of America in 1963, Puryear spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone where he learned local woodworking techniques.[3]:168-197 From 1966 - 1968, he studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, returning to the United States afterward to enroll in the graduate program for sculpture at Yale University.[4]:128-130 Although he discovered Minimalism at a formative period in his development, Puryear would ultimately reject its impersonality and formalism.

After earning his MFA from Yale, Puryear began teaching at Fisk University in Nashville and University of Maryland in College Park. In 1977, following a devastating fire in his Brooklyn studio, Puryear had a solo show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Shortly after he moved to Chicago.[3]:168-197

In both 1979 and 1981, and again in 1989, his work was included in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. He travelled to Japan in 1982 through a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship where he investigated architecture and garden design.[4]:128-130 In 1989, he was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He received the Gold Medal in Sculpture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2007, and was recently awarded the National Medal of Arts.

Puryear has lived in New York's Hudson Valley since 1990 where he works in a studio of his own construction.
Artwork (selection)

The artwork of Martin Puryear is a product of visibly complex craft construction and manipulation of pure material; its forms are combinations of the organic and the geometric. His process can be described as reductive, seeking to bring work and material close to its original state and creating rationality in each work derived from the maker and act of making. This is what Puryear calls ″inevitability,″ or a ″fullness of being within limits″ that defines function.[1]:54-57

Often associated with both Minimalism and Formalist sculpture, Puryear rejects that his work is ever non-referential or objective. The pure and direct imagistic forms born from his use of traditional craft are allusive and poetic, as well as deeply personal. Visually, they encounter the history of objects and the history of their making, suggesting public and private narratives including those of the artist, race, ritual, and identity.[5]

His work is widely exhibited and collected both in the United States and internationally. Puryear has also created several permanent outdoor works, such as Bodark Arc (1982), and collaborated with landscape architects on the design of public spaces. A 30-year survey, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York and which traveled to the National Gallery of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, included installations of some of the artist's largest works, notably the dramatically foreshortened 36-foot Ladder for Booker T. Washington (1996) made from a single, split sapling ash tree.[3]:150
Bask, 1976

Bask rests low on the floor in black, made of staved pine wood tapered at each end and swelling gently at the center. The subtle curvature of the work is achieved through the use of a ship making technique call strip planking once used to build the hulls of ships. Geometric in its construction of lines and arcs, it demonstrates well the influence of Minimalism in the early work of Martin Puryear.[3]:116-117
The Load, 2012

Lacking any means of conveyance, the full-size two-wheeled cart in The Load sits poised as if ready to move at a moment's notice, with its twelve-foot harness pole parallel to the ground resting on a center prop. Mounted atop the axle of the cart is a gridded wooden box that encages a white sphere fitted with a glass aperture. The glass aperture faces the rear of the cart, an accessible portal through which a viewer can glimpse the complex interior structure of the wooden sphere.

The cart is an immediately recognizable object, although from no particular time or place in history. Two-wheeled carts have been in use since the second millennium B.C. and are common in cultures worldwide, making it both culturally and temporally ambiguous.[6]:7-8 In futuristic white, the sphere juxtaposes the aged wood of the cart.

The Load revisits the wheel as an object with functional and symbolic meanings in the work of Puryear, who often deals with escapism, flight, and mobility.[4]:30

I'm thinking your collection from your grandmother needs to be looked at by professionals. I'm beginning to think there may be some real treasure in it. Also as I've written before: this collection so far shows a real need for some conserving. It certainly shows it is well worth doing so. It isn't overly expensive, and sacrificing a piece or two to pay for it will be well worth slowing or stopping the effects time has had on some of them you've share thus far.

I think this collection may be an important African American Art trove.
Onetallgentleman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 02:06 am
@deepaw,
I would keep the misspelling's but , but a label underneath the marble base with the correct information. It makes it unique I would think.

On a side note did your Grandmother live near an Ocean when she bought this awesome looking piece?
deepaw
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 05:00 pm
@Onetallgentleman,
Yep-- a beach house in the Hamptons. Definitely her happy place :-)
deepaw
 
  3  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 05:02 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
@bobsal u1553115

Thank you so much for the kind encouragement, and help. I wonder what you think the best way to get in touch with Martin is? Surely he is a big deal, and it wouldn't be easy? Forgive me, I am new at this. :-)
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 06:24 pm
@deepaw,
Start here:

http://www.matthewmarks.com/new-york/artists/martin-puryear/

Send them an email and photo and ask for a contact number for the artist. This may sound goofy, but it worked very well for me, look them up in the phonebook or 411 them. I believe Martin Poryear lives in Washington DC.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 07:20 pm
I like this thread, the discovery. I'm watching all the posts.


In the meant time, when, in the eighties I worked as a apprentice (coffee making helper, secretary helper, eight foot presentation drawing in thirty minutes person, drawing/photoing the essentials of a city park including measurements ..

a guy way way above me in seniority had a name very similar to this artist's name.
Not to go on and on, but I will make me look him up, now that online is here.

One thing I'll say, is that in my shortish time as secretarial helper, I saw the files, and people's work applications. His consisted of some print and a lot of drawing.
Best work application I have ever seen, over many years. Not just that he could draw, but the brain behind his drawings.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 08:17 pm
@ossobuco,
Art is where I go to get away from the partisans in the nastiest primary I've ever witnessed.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 08:36 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
I'm with you on that.

I will add that I was 40 when I took that apprenticeship. That could be helpful to someone out there.. that new careers can happen.

I don't mean to distract from the thread, I am still quite interested, happy re the progress, paying attention.

A link for anyone who won't mind a tangent -
http://www.pwpla.com/firm/partners/martin-poirier
Hey, I knew he was a smartie, even in the early eighties.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 08:39 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
I was catching up on his PBS special (21 artists). You can see from his wood sculptures, his familiarity with boat building.
I was fascinated with the way he handles things like drawknives and spokeshaves. He must spend a hell of a lot of time just sharpening his tools. I suppose, seeing some of his prices that he seems to be in a market level that is almost Jeff Koons territory.

I love where these clips show the artist actually working on a peice, fascinating.
Onetallgentleman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2016 11:53 pm
@deepaw,
I bet it was a great place to relax.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2016 04:19 am
@farmerman,
Its gotten so that when I look at paintings I am looking first at how it seems the artist put the work together. I'm looking for glazes, evidence of undercoats, how perspective is used, what the strokes are, etc.

Blooomberg TV has a series on artists and how they put their art together. I can't remember it names right now ......
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2016 09:00 am
@bobsal u1553115,
If you ever get the link, please post it. As we speak, we are packing for a trip to NAwlins where I plan to do some "Plein Aire" oil paintings(I haveta make use of my Hookers green so they can make some more. Hookers is getting to be a rare color (except for acrylics).

We have several painters on the line. Osso, JL Nobody, I think P Diddie did air brush too, (several others who are no longer with us like Joan Dorel) and I do air brush, pastel, watercolor and just getting back to doing oils after a 25 year hiatus.

I wanna do some really wet on wet oils of Jackson PArk and our old house in the Garden District..

We should be back end of next week or so. (Im sure the political bullshit will be hovering just below critical)


farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2016 09:05 am
@farmerman,
I built a couple wooden boats using plans, and afew CLC kits where I built kayakks for the kids. I recently (like 4 years ago, built a Curragh in a more updated version with an "Alaskan Prow" to nose through rougher waters . Its 3/4 done and all I have to do is skin it .But, I like the framing so much I was thinking of just finishing the framing, taking OFF the initial "stitch and glue ****, painting it blue and hanging the skeleton from the beams of my new building. Itd look like a whale in a museum.
Watching Puyrear go through his tender workings with a draw knife, I was impressed
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2016 12:43 pm
@farmerman,
It'll have to wait until I get back from the Hospital sometime next week, I'm just getting ready to leave for Temple right now. I think its called 'Brilliant Ideas'.
deepaw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2016 12:14 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Hi Guys!

I have an important update that will hopefully bump this old thread and pique some interest.

So, after yet another closer examination, I was actually able to find a very faint signature etched into the piece! Bad news is that it is not Puryear (which leaves some explaining as to why the piece was mislabeled in the first place), but now we have something to work from!

Does anyone recognize this one? I'm thinking it is Robert Kust---- or Robert Rust--- ???

Images in the link below:

http://imgur.com/a/oEvWm
0 Replies
 
 

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