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Beggar's Bowl and more art by Martin Puryear

Beggar's Bowl, 2003
24 x 32 cm (h x w)
Woodcut on paper
not for sale
[Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club, 2003.234]

(Commissioned Print & Gift Print, 2003)

One of the most acclaimed American sculptors working today, Martin Puryear employs a vocabulary that refers to historical Modernism as well as to indigenous tribal architectural forms, and basketry. A perfectionist and master craftsman, Puryear’s sense of materials—and of wood in particular—endows his mysterious works with supreme beauty. Many of his sculptures, such as Decoy in Des Moines’ Pappajohn Sculpture Park, or In Sheep’s Clothing, 1996, at the Art Center, invite the viewer to meditate on deception and the concealed unknown.
Puryear has worked extensively in printmaking, favoring black-and-white woodblock prints. In 2003, he created Beggar’s Bowl for the Des Moines Art Center Print Club. Ever sensitive to the nature of wood, Puryear used the grain of the block to contrast with the sweeping, knife-cut black-and-white curves. Puryear has designed many woodcut illustrations for hand-printed books made with Arion Press in San Francisco.



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