Museum Voorlinden is currently featuring a solo exhibition of work by Martin Puryear, as a part two of the museum's American Season series which will showcase four diverse American artists on consecutive display. Museum visitors will have a chance to experience a broad selection of works from artist's sculptural oeuvre during his first museum exhibition in Europe.
Fitting the museum's surrounding, marked with forest, dunes, winding waters, vast grasslands and gardens, the exhibited body of work has been sculpted from natural materials, mainly wood. With a strong emphasis on craftsmanship, the artist explores themes of identity, culture and history through his work. Puryear has explored different techniques of wood manipulation around the globe, his creations are pushing the boundaries and possibilities of woodworking. Produced over the course of months, even years, his works present his appreciation for the material itself, through elegant shapes, perfect finishing, and texture. Whether incorporated with artificial man made objects (C.F.A.O. or Faux Vitrine), or forming an abstract, organic shapes (Big Phrygian), or even recreating strict, almost industrial forms (Le Prix or Desire,) his sculptures are constantly challenging the notion of what can be done with this familiar medium. Along with exploring new ways to manipulate the material and achieve the desired visual effect, the works are testing its quality through construction of pieces such as such Untitled; a wooden knot made from a single young sapling. The selection of works on view gives a great overview of his work from the past decades, including pieces from artist's own collection, private collections, as well as some of his latest work, now in the permanent collection of the museum. ––Sasha Bogojev
Photos by Sasha Bogojev