Martin Puryear will represent the United States at La Biennale di Venezia 58th International Art Exhibition, announced Madison Square Park Conservancy, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. On view from May 11 through November 24, 2019, Puryear will create new site-specific works for the U.S. Pavilion.
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 of New York. The exhibition marks the first time in the history of the Biennale that the U.S. Pavilion will be organized by an institution whose visual arts program is focused exclusively on public art, according to the non-profit organization.
"Since our first project in 2004, Madison Square Park Conservancy has commissioned over 30 contemporary art installations, fostering dynamic engagement with the public to inspire, provoke, and captivate through resonant examples of contemporary art within one of the most cherished green spaces in New York City," stated Rapaport in the announcement. "We are proud to realize installations that are accessible and open to the broadest possible audience. The expertise and experience we have as an institution dedicated to public art will enhance next year’s presentation at the U.S. Pavilion, which provides a critical spotlight on one of the most significant and influential artists working today.”
Madison Square Park Conservancy and Puryear previously collaborated on the commission of a public art installation of his monumental sculpture Big Bling in New York’s Madison Square Park in 2016.
Born in 1941 in Washington, D.C., Martin Puryear is an American sculptor whose work is recognized for the subtlety and power of its form and inherent symbolism. Puryear’s work is in the permanent collections of major museums across the U.S. and internationally. He represented the United States at the 1989 Bienal de São Paulo, where he was awarded the festival’s Grand Prize, and his work was included in the 1992 Documenta IX.
Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Museum Voorlinden, The Netherlands (2018); and an exhibition of his drawings, "Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions," at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York (2015), that later traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Puryear was also commissioned to present a major sculptural installation, Big Bling, by Madison Square Park Conservancy (2016). The Museum of Modern Art, New York organized a retrospective of Puryear’s work in 2007, which traveled to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Puryear lives and works in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
Brooke Kamin Rapaport
Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Commissioner and Curator of the U.S. Pavilion, is Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Senior Curator at Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York. Since joining the Conservancy in 2013, she has overseen its program of commissioned public sculpture exhibitions by contemporary artists including Diana Al-Hadid, Tony Cragg, Teresita Fernández, Josiah McElheny, Iván Navarro, Giuseppe Penone, Martin Puryear, and Arlene Shechet. In addition, she established the Public Art Consortium, a national initiative of museum, public art program, and sculpture park colleagues, through Madison Square Park Conservancy.
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