There is something amazingly elegant in Martin Puryear’s sculpture. His craftsmanship and fluid forms are so tactilely and aesthetically beautiful that one does not realize he’s drawn you in to explore far grander ideas of space and time. I’m amazed by his curves and his angles; he makes it look so easy, and because of this expert execution his work escapes the self-consciousness of so many other modern sculptors.
Puryear didn’t start out in art, and maybe that’s part of what makes his work so accessible. As a kid he loved woodworking; as a teacher for the Peace Corps in Africa, he fell in love with the basic craftsmanship of the local carpenters; as a student of the Swedish Royal Academy Of Art and Yale’s Master of Fine Art programs he took those basic skills towards what we see today: there’s nothing pretentious about Martin Puryear’s work (he refers to himself as a wood worker), and he’s so much better than anyone else.