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Presence in a Space: The Flickering Contradictions of Martin Puryear

By Karen L. Mulder Essay

IN 1997, THE ST. JAMES GUIDE TO BLACK ARTISTS called sculptor Martin Puryear a quiet revolutionary engrossed in the business of eroding art-world oppositions. “I would describe my usual working process as a kind of distillation—trying to make coherence out of things that can seem contradictory,” he says. “But coherence is not the same as resolution.…

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