A current show of Martin Puryear's prints at Cincinnati Art Museum, on display now through June 13, offers insight into Puryear's motivations and process. It features 23 prints plus a book for which he did woodcut illustrations. It is a good introduction to a major living American — and African-American — artist, for those who haven’t seen that much of his work. (And wouldn’t it be great to have one of his sculptures here?)
A minimalist in terms of avoiding overt figuration and honoring the suggestive power of lines and shapes, he often chooses organic materials for his sculpture. Especially wood. That makes his pieces seem like extensions of nature and quiet but poignant commentaries on the built environment they are near.
But even when he works in metal, he makes it look like something in a forest. Or something preserved from an ancient civilization, a simple but elegant vessel or container that has survived technological change.
Get show details and read more about his work in The Big Picture here.