“Martin Puryear” at the David McKee Gallery, New York.
March 3–April 15, 1995

Seven years ago, Martin Puryear’s sculpture was shown in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum; few exhibitions of contemporary art have left so profound an impression on me. The majority of installations that have occupied this space have been but frantic attempts at diverting museum visitors while they checked their duffel bags. Puryear’s work, however, animated the lobby with sculptural poise, engaging viewers with its considerable grace and artisanship. Indeed, the exhibition heralded a sculptor of formidable talent.

Since the Brooklyn exhibition of 1988, Puryear’s sculpture has been little seen in New York City. (His mid-career retrospective of 1991–92 did not travel to New York, a curatorial blooper that says more about the peculiarities of our cultural institutions than about the merits of...

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