"Ladder for Booker T. Washington" (1996)

"Ladder for Booker T. Washington," 1996
Ash, 438 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches
Installation view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas
Collection of the artist
Photo by David Woo
© David Woo

"I didn’t set out to make a work about Booker T. Washington. The work was really about using a sapling...and making a work that had a kind of forced perspective, which made it appear to recede into space faster than it does. It’s an idea I’ve been fascinated with for a long time. It requires a certain length- it’s a piece that couldn’t have been done small. As it was, it was thirty-six feet long. It’s the ideas of diminution in space and the manipulation of that perception that interest me."
- Martin Puryear