Thursday, February 09, 2006

Quote: Martin Puryear

"I came from a generation where the work was itself the information, and so there remains this belief that the work itself can have an identity that hopefully can speak. Whether it's through beauty or through ugliness or whatever quality you put into the work. That is what the work can be about. The work doesn't have to be a transparent vehicle for you to say things about life today or what you see people doing to each other or things like that. Not that that's not in the work ever, because I think the work can contain a lot of things, but my vehicle typically is to make work that is about the presentation of the work itself and what went into the making of the work as an object."
--Martin Puryear (photo ©, from "Time," Season 2, Episode 7, in art: 21: Art in the 21st Century, PBS documentary, 2003 (quoted from "Abstraction in the 20th Century, Or What the Goog Don't Know about Total Risk, Freedom, and Discipline," Franklin Sirmans, in Something to Look Forward To, Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin & Marshall College: Lancaster, PA, 2004.)


  1. I'd only seen bits of the 'art 21' series when it was showing on PBS, but we have them on VHS at the library. Been meaning to view I've got another spur to actually check them out!
    Thanks (from the snowed in East)

  2. I also only saw parts of it, but love Puryear's work. One of my idols. Che and I once dropped by this exhibit of his work and just stayed for a good while, checking out the pieces. I could spend an entire day look at them, really (especially that ladder that climbs irregularly up the wall...).