Art@Site Martin Puryear Guardian Stone

Martin Puryear


Guardian Stone

TV Asahi Corporation
Stillness, peace, understanding
You understand that this is a face, mainly because of the form of the backhead. The frontside could make you also think of a magnified button of a hairpin.
By a enlarged face you easely think of intelligence. That’s not what you do with a magnified index finger. Guardian Stone by Martin Puryear is a face. Because there is no trace of emotion or interaction, you think of an abstract concept like meditation or stillness. These are general concepts which are not so helpful to me.
It is interesting that our conventions make that we have associations with a almost entirely abstract form. Guardian Stone resembles a face of Buddha and this face is known by both Eastern and Western countries. This all make us think of concepts like essence, peace, compassion, love. This means that in our Eastern and Western cultures we have a lot of conventions in common.
This brings us to a conclusion which could not be intended by Martin Puryear and also not the merit of Martin Puryear. There is a lot of peace and understanding between the different (eg. Eastern and Western) cultures, even though we do not always realize this. We all understand an image as Guardian Stone.
By Theo,

Verstilling, vrede, begrip
Je begrijpt dat dit een gezicht is, vooral vanwege de vorm van het achterhoofd. Bij de voorzijde zou je ook kunnen denken aan een uitvergrote knop van een haarspeld.
Door een gezicht uit te vergroten denk je al gauw aan intelligentie. Dat doe je niet bij een uitvergrote wijsvinger. Guardian Stone van Martin Puryear is een gezicht. Doordat er geen spoor te bekennen is van emotie of interactie, denk je vooral aan een abstract begrip als meditatie of verstilling. Dit zijn algemene begrippen en daar kan ik niet zoveel mee.
Het is interessant dat door onze conventies wij associaties leggen bij een bijna geheel abstracte vorm. Guardian Stone lijkt op een gezicht van boeddha en dit gezicht is bekend bij zowel Oosterse als Westerse landen. Dan denken wij allen aan begrippen als essentie, vrede, mededogen, liefde. Dit betekent dat er in onze Oosterse en Westerse culturen een groot aantal gemeenschappelijke conventies zijn.
Dit brengt ons bij een conclusie die mogelijk niet bedoeld is door Martin Puryear en ook niet de verdienste is van Martin Puryear. Er is veel vrede en begrip tussen de verschillende (bijv. Oosterse en Westerse) culturen, ook al beseffen wij het niet altijd. Wij begrijpen namelijk allen een beeld als Guardian Stone.
By Theo,
Puryear's wealth of craft and design expertise and his being deeply versed in Japan's culture have resulted in this large stone structure, a guardian for the garden where it is stands.
Created through collaboration with a Japanese stonemason, the structure's form is taken to the extreme of simplicity, setting free the observer's imagination.
Puryear: I think the big challenge was that it was a piece that was carved. And I have spent most of my working life making work that may seem to be carved but which in fact is constructed, made from parts and put together. And although this was made from eighteen blocks assembled, essentially the process of shaping the blocks was one of carving from solid material. And I haven’t carved stone since I left college, really.
And of course, with a piece of this scale, the carving is done industrially at a big stone fabricator facility and requires diamond tools and water and everything, to do it efficiently.

H.W. Janson, Anthony Janson (2004):
Martin Puryear (b. 1941), the leading black sculptor on the scene today, draws on the experience with woodworkers in Sierra Leone in western Africa, where he spent several years in the Peace Corps, and in Sweden, where he attended the Royal Academy. Puryear manages to weld these very different sources into a unified personal style.
He adapts African motivs and materials to the modern Western tradiotion by relying on careful craftsmanship to bridge the gap.
His forms, at once bold and refined, have an elegant simplicity that contrasts the natural and man-made, the finished and unfinished.
'For more than four decades, Puryear has created distinctive sculptures that combine modernist geometry with international craft traditions,' said Naima J Keith, the deputy director at the California African American Museum. 'His work often resembles familiar objects, but Puryear avoids fixed associations of time and place.'