Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Martin Puryear

I had not heard of artist/sculptor Martin Puryear before, but was enlightened about his art on a recent visit to the Rowley Gallery, where proprietor Chris showed me a book on Puryear's work, and informed me about a Puryear exhibition currently in London. With gratitude to Chris for showing me that book, and the images still fresh in mind, I made my way to the Parasol Unit space to see this first UK showing of Puryear's work. American Puryear spent two years in Sierra Leone apprenticed to the local carpenters learning their traditional techniques, and perfecting the craft, before going on to study printmaking in Sweden and Yale. The sculptural works are real pieces of meticulous craftsmanship using the artisanal techniques of yesteryear. The works themselves also contain the aesthetic of another age. To my eyes they have something of the American pioneer spirit in them, reminding me of beautifully crafted Shaker furniture and objects. They are wonderfully textural and tactile, inviting a forbidden touch. Martin Puryear's work is a very welcome discovery.

Also on display in the garden is this text piece by Robert Montgomery - Parasolstice - Winter Light 2017

Martin Puryear
until 6th December
Parasol Unit
14 Wharf Road