American, b. 1941
Untitled, Oliver Ranch, c. 1993
Graphite, pen
12 x 23 in. (30.5 x 58.4 cm)
© Martin Puryear, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Photo by Jeffrey Jenkins
In the early 1990s Puryear was commissioned to build a site-specific work for Oliver Ranch, an estate and sculpture park in Sonoma County, California. Partnering with a local stonemason, Puryear constructed a sculpture that also serves as an architectural folly: an eighteen-foot wall with window- and door-like openings abutted by a bulging appendage. In its form, outlined in profile in Puryear’s 1993 conte crayon drawing, the work for Oliver Ranch is a predecessor to his work for Storm King; however, unlike Lookout, the interior of Puryear’s work at Oliver Ranch is accessible only by peering through the openings in the arched cedar grille that the artist constructed to cover the entrance. Puryear’s drawing emphasizes the importance of the apertures created by the interlocking wooden beams of wood, which he rendered as the negative space between the solid black diamonds of the grille’s openings.