American, b. 1941
Maquette for That Profile, 1997
Steel wire, wood
23 x 15 x 5 1/2 in. (58.4 x 38.1 x 14 cm)
© Martin Puryear, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Photo by Jeffrey Jenkins
That Profile was commissioned for the opening of the new campus of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It is installed in an expansive area and seen upon one’s entry to the campus. The work’s open gridded structure appears as a flat plane from one vantage point but is rounded from another. The viewer’s experience of the work is as much about the contours of the metal shape as it is about the spaces framed between them—the geometric slices of sky and surrounding landscape. 

Puryear chose the scale of the maquette of That Profile to be functional: he needed to be able to pack the model in his suitcase to show the design to his collaborators at the Getty and the fabricators of the work.