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Martin Puryear

Biography

(b Washington, D.C., 1941) American Sculptor. Martin Puryear received his BA from Catholic University in Washington D.C in 1963. Shortly after graduating, Puryear joined the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, where he was first introduced to the African techniques of carpentry and building. Puryear then proceeded to Sweden in 1966, where he met and worked with cabinet and furniture makers, particularly James Krenov whose profound commitment and sensitivity to his craft and materials greatly impressed Puryear. By the time Puryear entered the graduate program in sculpture at Yale University in 1969, his desire was to add a dimension of the heart and mind - of the artistic and intellectual - to the object-making of sculpture in his chosen medium of wood. By the late 1980s Puryear’s work started to include, along with wood, wire mesh and tar. This sculptures moved from the abstract to references to inanimate objects and artifacts. In 1989, Puryear was chosen as the official United States representative for the Sao Paulo Bienal. Untitled 1987 was one of seven works included in the artist's exhibition, for which he was awarded the grand prize. Puryear currently lives and works in the Hudson Valley region of New York. (Credit: Sotheby’s, New York, Contemporary Art Evening, November 12, 2003, Lot 2)

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