All Limited Editions

Martin Puryear: One Handed Stool


One Handed Stool Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner

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Martin Puryear
One Handed Stool, 2015
Pine and maple with steel rod spine, lathe turned by hand
Number 1: gilded with white gold leaf, with a curly maple top and a silver gray hardwood finish Numbers 2–25: finished with milk paint or Japan Color 4 3/4 × 14 7/8 in (37.5 × 37.8 cm)
Edition of 25 with 10 artist’s proofs, numbered, dated, and signed by the artist
Produced by Lisa Ivorian-Jones for the New Museum

In order to produce these special stools, Martin Puryear assembled five different wooden elements to create one seamless whole. The tops, bottoms, and middle spheres are made of pine, which has been hand-turned on a lathe, and the other two middle elements have been machine-turned in maple, the hard wood forming sharp, pointed edges against the soft, curvilinear pine. The wooden elements slide along an internal waxed steel rod, making the stool extremely durable and allowing for the wood’s natural movement due to fluctuations in humidity. All of the stools have been hand-painted and hand-rubbed. Puryear expects them to evolve and change beautifully with wear, the different layers of color emerging and revealing themselves as they age.

Born in Washington, DC, in 1941, Martin Puryear began exploring traditional craft methods in his youth. After receiving a BA in Fine Art from the Catholic University of America in 1963, Puryear spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in Sierra Leone where he learned traditional woodworking techniques. From 1966 to 1968, he studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, returning to the United States afterward to enroll in the MFA graduate program for sculpture at Yale University.

Puryear had his first solo exhibition in 1977 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. He has since presented his work internationally, including in a 2007 traveling exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

In 1983, Puryear received a Guggenheim Fellowship and traveled to Japan, where he investigated architecture and garden design. In 1989, he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and from 1992 through 1993 he worked at the former studio of Alexander Calder in Saché, France, at the invitation of the French Ministry of Culture. He served as a juror for the World Trade Center Site Memorial in 2003 and 2004. Recently, Puryear was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.

If you are interested in purchasing the Limited Edition, please contact Lisa Ivorian-Jones at or 917.744.6787.

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