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