Art: Delight in A Shaping Hand

An exhibit of the craftsmanlike, poetic forms of Martin Puryear shows why he is one of the best sculptors alive

If you wanted to create a list of the American artists who came through the ugly, corrosive decade of the '80s with their aesthetic values intact and a robust body of highly original work to show, it might not be very long. But it would certainly include the sculptor Martin Puryear. Puryear is 50, and his midcareer retrospective, organized by Neal Benezra for the Art Institute of Chicago, is now on the second stop of its tour, at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington. Through 1992 it will also be seen in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, though not, alas, in New York...

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