Martin Puryear (b. 1945) is one of the leading sculptors of his generation, whose work is recognized internationally for its evocative forms and exquisite craftsmanship. The exhibition explores reoccurring forms across time and medium in Puryear’s sculptures, drawings, and prints. Although he is known primarily as a sculptor, Puryear considers his drawings and prints integral to his creative process. Beginning with some of his earliest drawings and prints that he made while serving in the Peace Corps in Africa, one can trace the evolution of his visual vocabulary across his career.
The exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in close collaboration with the artist and includes many works that have never before been shown. The presentation at SAAM also focuses on the importance of Puryear’s public art and features maquettes and drawings for several of his major outdoor public sculptures, including Bearing Witness, installed at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., and the new 40-foot-tall Big Bling, which debuted May 16 in Madison Square Park in New York City.”