"Ladder for Booker T. Washington" (1996)

Ladder for Booker T. Washington, 1996
Ash and maple; 438 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches
Installation view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas
Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Gift of Ruth Carter Stevenson, by exchange
Photo by 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