Martin Puryear

Dec. 3, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020

The Vault

Martin Puryear, <i>Mile of Sculpture</i>, 1984. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, gift of Hans Neukomm.

Martin Puryear, Mile of Sculpture, 1984. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, gift of Hans Neukomm.

This work was selected by Aria Frawley (class of 2021), who explains: “As an art history student with a heavy focus on African art, I always find artists that have studied traditional African techniques to be incredibly interesting. Martin Puryear studied sculpture at Yale University and learned about pottery and woodcarving techniques while living in Sierra Leone for two years. Mile of Sculpture highlights the artist’s interest in pushing the boundaries of minimalism and materials, and translates his woodcarving skills onto a two-dimensional plane through the exploration of line and space. Puryear’s ability to create a believable reality, while simultaneously simplifying the scene, absolutely stuns me. I found myself imagining what such a place would look like to me, and what that place looks like to the artist. Does Puryear’s work make you imagine what the Mile of Sculpture holds?"

The Vault

The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.