abstract image in greys, black and white; roughly cornucopia-shaped form with white oval at bottom; lines extending up from center of oval to rounded knob in ULC; mottled grey ground

© Martin Puryear

Phrygian (Cap in the Air), 2012

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African American sculptor and printmaker Martin Puryear explores issues of identity, culture, and history in his work. Produced in collaboration with master printers, Puryear’s editioned prints generally feature simplified black-and-white motifs that bring to mind traditional craft, manual labor, and nature, subjects he also explores in his sculptural work and site-specific installations. Puryear’s austere images essentially function as cultural or historical symbols whose meanings are fluid and depend on the viewer’s own experiences, memories, and associations. “I think there are a number of levels at which my work can be dealt with and appreciated,” Puryear has noted. “It gives me pleasure to feel there’s a level that doesn’t require knowledge of or immersion in the aesthetic of a given time or place.”

Details
Title
Phrygian (Cap in the Air)
Artist Life
born 1941
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2017.137.7
Provenance
Paulson Fontaine Press, Berkeley, Calif. (publisher), sold to Mersky 2017; Mary and Robert Mersky, Minneapolis; given to MIA, 2017
Curator Approved

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abstract image in greys, black and white; roughly cornucopia-shaped form with white oval at bottom; lines extending up from center of oval to rounded knob in ULC; mottled grey ground

© Martin Puryear

Because of © restrictions, we can only show you a small image of this artwork.