Martin Puryear

Night Watch, 2011
Maple, willow, OSB board

This was an eye-opener. I’d only once before seen a sculpture by Martin Puryear and I was intrigued then by its craftsmanship and its implied utility. That was three years ago at Villa Panza in Italy and I thought I was looking at a redundant piece of machinery. But now here was a whole solo retrospective exhibition of pieces made with great attention to detail and a love of materials that suggested these were all much more than the sum of their parts. I was attracted to them because they were all such well-crafted, beautifully made objects, and also because they all seemed slightly illogical and perhaps even allegorical. But I didn’t need to know their story, I just loved their mystery, and their integrity. Continue reading “Martin Puryear”

Frames of reference

Villa Panza


Villa Panza is a grand 18th century mansion in the hillside suburb of Biumo Superiore, overlooking the city of Varese. It was the home of Count Giuseppe Panza, art collector and a great champion of Minimalist and Conceptual Art. He bought his first painting in 1956, by Antoni Tàpies and in 1966 he began collecting work by Brice Marden, Richard Serra and James Turrell. In 1996 the house was donated to the nation and opened to the public after major restoration work in 2000. Continue reading “Villa Panza”

Frames of reference