NOAH PURIFOY

Born in Snow Hill, Alabama in 1917, Noah Purifoy lived and worked most of his life in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, California, where he died in 2004. 

His earliest body of sculpture, constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts rebellion, was the basis for 66 Signs of Neon, the landmark 1966 group exhibition on the Watts riots that traveled throughout the country. He was a founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center.

In the late 80s, Purifoy moved his practice out to the Mojave desert. He lived for the last 15 years of his life creating ten acres full of large-scale sculpture on the desert floor. Constructed entirely from junked materials, this otherworldly environment is one of California’s great art historical wonders.

 Hanging Tree, 1990. 52 x 40 in. © Noah Purifoy Foundation, courtesy of Noah Purifoy Foundation.

Hanging Tree, 1990. 52 x 40 in. © Noah Purifoy Foundation, courtesy of Noah Purifoy Foundation.