Martin Puryear

May 11, 2019 – November 24, 2019

Martin Puryear (American, b. 1941) will represent the United States at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Puryear is recognized for a fiercely independent visual language of object making that has developed over a half-century, and for a sculptural practice that has influenced generations of artists. The Biennale Arte 2019 will mark a major international presentation for the artist, whose work has remained at the forefront of American creativity.

The 2019 U.S. Pavilion is commissioned and curated by Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Senior Curator of Madison Square Park Conservancy. The exhibition marks the first time in the history of the Art Biennale that the U.S. Pavilion will be organized by an institution whose visual art program is focused exclusively on public art. Madison Square Park Conservancy and Puryear previously collaborated on the commission of a public art installation of his monumental sculpture Big Bling in 2016-2017.

Puryear will create an entirely new body of work for the U.S. Pavilion, including new sculpture and a site-specific outdoor installation for the Pavilion’s forecourt. Puryear’s work summons disparate sources of inspiration to realize a coherent vision that culls and clarifies across cultures, continents, eras, and perspectives.

In conjunction with the presentation at the U.S. Pavilion, the Conservancy and Puryear will realize outreach programs with underserved youth through a collaboration between Studio Institute of Studio in a School Association, Inc. in New York and Istituto Santa Maria Della Pietà in Venice.

The American pavilion, circa 1930