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PrintmakingMartin Puryear

February 22, 2013

Filmed in 2002, Martin Puryear discusses his interest in printmaking and how the directness of the process contrasts with the accretive approach he takes with sculpture.

Shown working at the Paulson Bott Press in Berkeley, California, Puryear employs skills he originally learned while enrolled at the Swedish Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm. Examples of Puryear’s sculptures, many of which explore the same ideas reflected in his prints, are shown at the McKee Gallery in New York.

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Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Bob Elfstrom, Mead Hunt & Ken Kobland. Sound: Doug Dunderdale & Jerry Stein. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Martin Puryear, McKee Gallery & Paulson Bott Press. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear’s objects and public installations—in wood, stone, tar, wire, and various metals—are a marriage of minimalist logic with traditional ways of making. Puryear’s evocative, dreamlike explorations in abstract forms retain vestigial elements of utility from everyday objects found in the world. In the massive stone piece, Untitled, Puryear enlisted a local stonemason to help him construct a building-like structure on a ranch in northern California. On one side of the work is an eighteen-foot-high wall—on the other side, an inexplicable stone bulge. A favorite form that occurs in Puryear’s work, the thick-looking stone bulge is surprisingly hollow, coloring the otherwise sturdy shape with qualities of uncertainty, emptiness, and loss.


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Kiki Smith

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Abstraction and “Ladder for Booker T. Washington”

Artist Martin Puryear discusses his work’s connection to the history of abstraction and the inspiration for his 1996 installation piece, “Ladder for Booker T. Washington.”

Martin Puryear

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Martin Puryear

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