new-york

Martin Puryear, The Load, 2012, wood, steel, glass, 7' 7“ x 15' 5” x 6' 2".

Martin Puryear

McKee Gallery

Martin Puryear, The Load, 2012, wood, steel, glass, 7' 7“ x 15' 5” x 6' 2".

Like most of Martin Puryear’s sculpture in this typically virtuosic exhibition of recent work, the piece that met the visitor entering the show, The Rest, 2009–10, has many precedents in his art. Wheels and a long harness pole make this bronze representational—it is a covered wagon, though of a smaller, stubbier kind than the settlers’ Conestoga—but were it stripped of those accessories and turned to stand on its only flat side (the doorway where the rider would sit, open in a wagon but here filled in), it would instantly recall a good number of classic Puryear abstractions: humped, rounded, floor-based objects such as Self, 1978, and Thicket, 1990, the former apparently solid, the latter explicitly hollow. Or, instead, imagine The Rest still minus its wheels and tongue but posed with its door stood vertical: That hooped, elongated horseshoe, fronting a bulbous volume

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.