June 20, 2019

Martin Puryear Reflects on Liberty for His Latest Installation at La Biennale de Venezia

Swallowed Sun (Monstrance and Volute) in Southern yellow pine is a new sculpture by Martin Puryear, who is representing the U.S. at La Biennale de Venezia through November 24. Photography by Joshua White.

New York residents and visitors may remember when a squirrel was momentarily trapped amid the laminated timbers forming “Bling Bling,” Martin Puryear’s 40-foot-tall installation at Madison Square Park in 2016. The animal eventually found his way out safely, and the sculpture continued to be an Instagram sensation. This year, the park’s conservancy and the artist have teamed up again on a project with freedom at its core: “Martin Puryear: Liberty/Martin Puryear: Libertà,” with which he is representing the U.S. at La Biennale di Venezia, where his new works, such as the covered-wagon New Voortrekker, reflect on liberty as an essen­tial human theme. The exhibition’s seven sculptures are in a setting designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, which also collaborated with the artist on the enormous screen stretch­ing across the pavilion’s forecourt like a church rood screen.

His Aso Oke and Taber­nacle, both from 2019. Photography by Joshua White.
His 2014 Big Phrygian. Photography by Joshua White.
New Voortrekker in ash, American cypress, maple, and mirror. Photography by Joshua White.

> See more from the Interior Design Summer Homes 2019 issue

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