LA Art Now: Martin Puryear Named To Represent US at 2019 Venice Biennale
Artist and sculptor extraordinaire, Martin Puryear has been named to represent the US in the upcoming 2019 Venice Biennale next summer. It is a dream of any artist to represent our country at the most significant art exhibition in the world, every two years; a summer snapshot of who, what and why within the global art world. The Venice Biennale may be considered the love child of Peggy Guggenheim, and the US contingent chosen for the Biennale is a clear thumbs up for any artist working today. Past male superhero sculptors include Rober Gober (2001), Alexander Calder (1954), Bruce Nauman (2009) and Felix Gonzales-Torres (2007) to name but a few. Painters such as California artists Ed Ruscha (2005) and Mark Bradford (2017) have been celebrated in their artistic sensibilities in Venice as well. "For more than five decades, Puryear has created a body of work distinguished by a complete visual vocabulary and deeply-considered meaning". The artist will create all new work for the pavilion and "realize outreach programs with underserved youth through a collaboration between Studio in the School in New York and Instituto Santa Maria Della Pieta in Venice." Puryear's works are multi-layered in their simple, generous forms and beautifully soothing materials. He is now 77 years old and has won wide renown for his exquisitely crafted work in wood, which touches subtly on myriad aspects of American and world history. His work has appeared in the Whitney Biennales of 1979, 1981, and 1989. In 2007-2008, Puryear was the subject of an acclaimed retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A gentle giant with the utmost care for form and connection is felt prescient in today's world.