Martin Puryear. Horsefly. 1996-2000

Martin Puryear Horsefly 1996-2000

  • Not on view

Like many of Martin Puryear's sculptures, Horsefly, the first of the artist's works to use glass , embraces contradictory elements. In this sculpture, the skeleton of which is formed by steel rods tied carefully together with wrapped wire, the interest resides in the unlikely combination of tar, wire, steel, and glass. Of these contradictions, Puryear has said, "I'm interested in mediating between a feeling of massiveness and fragility to reach a point of extreme vulnerability."

Gallery label from Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, May 3–July 10, 2006.
Wire mesh, tar, glass, and wood
8' 1" x 6' 7" x 7' 11" (246.4 x 200.7 x 241.3 cm)
Gift of Edward R. Broida
Object number
© 2020 Martin Puryear
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].