martin puryear - booker t. washington ladder

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Some Thoughts About Richard Serra and Martin Puryear by John Yau | Hyperallergic
Martin Puryear and Richard Serra were born two years apart and both attended Yale’s MFA program. Puryear draws on traditional woodworking skills, creating master-crafted sculptures (above) that speak to matters of culture, identity and history. In a two-part thought piece, John Yau considers the disparate practices of the contemporaries and the ways in which each approaches materials and craft. Yau notes, in the second installment about Puryear, that before he entered Yale in 1969, the Washington, D.C.-born artist had earned a bachelor’s degree from Catholic University, worked in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, attended the Swedish Royal Academy of Art and backpacked above the Arctic Circle. From the beginning, he insisted on informing and defining his practice based his experience and knowledge, refusing to “align his work with the prevailing aesthetic.”

“I think that in his devotion to craft (or his “workmanlike reticence”), which he always puts at the service of his forms, [Martin] Puryear is attempting to draw upon this storehouse of cultural memory, in order to channel all the anonymous workers and history that preceded him. It is their eloquence, tenderness and pain that he wants to tap into because he understands that he cannot speak for them. The work functions as testimony and homage.” — John Yau, Hyperallergic

renee green - other planes of there cover“500 Words: Renee Green” as told to Lauren O’Neill-Butler | Artforum
A multi-disciplinary artist who works in film, video, audio, architecture, as well as prose, Renee Green serves as director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology. In her own words, Renee Green introduces her new book, “Other Planes of There: Selected Writings,” which gathers three decades of her writings between 1981 to 2010.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Is, and Is Not, Writing About Race by Alex Witchel | New York Times Magazine
Quirky and obsessed with the mindless entertainment that clogs YouTube, playwright Brendan Jacobs-Jenkins is conquering stages throughout the Northeast. An anthropology major at Princeton, Jacobs-Jenkins was born in Washington,D.C., and spent summers in Arkansas with his mother’s parents. After a three-year stint in the fiction department at The New Yorker, his theater career is humming along at an impressive clip. In her profile, Alex Witchell reports “this season, expectations are high for his two new plays: ‘War,’ a family drama that touches on the mischlingskinder, the half-black children left behind in Germany by American soldiers after World War II, which opens at the Yale Repertory Theater on Nov. 28, and ‘Gloria,’ set in a magazine office, which the Vineyard Theater will pre­sent next spring.” CT

TOP IMAGE: “Ladder for Booker T. Washington” 1996 (wood: ash and maple).| Still from SEGMENT: Martin Puryear in “Time” (Art21 video).

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