Untitled (Navy Pier)
Edition of 100
Image size: 31 7/8 x 27 inches (81 x 68.6 cm)
Paper size: 35 1/4 x 27 inches (89.5 x 68.6 cm)
Signed and numbered lower right in graphite, printer’s blindstamp and inkstamp on reverse
Martin Puryear’s “Untitled (Navy Pier)” was made in 1985 to coincide with the “Mile of Sculpture” exhibition on Chicago’s Navy Pier (which extends almost a mile into Lake Michigan). One of the few works on paper with color that Puryear has ever made, “Untitled (Navy Pier),” like much of his sculpture, has figurative and abstract elements. These elements include a horizon, potentially a lighthouse (somewhat reminiscent of his sculpture “Shrine” from 1985 which was also in the “Mile of Sculpture” exhibition [and is now in the Panza Collection]), a long pavilion-like structure and figures with shadows. These hint at this being imagery of Navy Pier and yet architectural details are also subsumed in the wide swaths of irregular texture. A challenging balance between flatness of picture plane, abstracted seemingly figurative elements and geometric echoing between elements (even in the pictorial “horizon” at the top and process-based “border” at the bottom) are all hallmarks of Puryear’s renowned practice. “Untitled (Navy Pier),” from early in Puryear’s career, stands strong on its own and also hints at many of the themes the artist will explore later in his career.