Artist: Purvis Young
Title: Untitled Figurative
Medium: Original Drawing, Ink and Crayon
Size: 18.5 x 15" image: 10 3/8 x 7"
Condition: Museum quality
Documentation: Includes Gallery Certificate of Authenticity
Self-taught American artist Purvis Young created suggestive imagery that juxtaposed rough geometric composition with lyrical flair. Known for his expressionist political commentary on life in the poverty-stricken Miami neighborhood of Overtown, he combined motifs found in contemporary urban art and African art. Using various mediums, he often created work on found objects such as cardboard, salvaged wood, discarded book pages, and pieces of paper, which enhanced the expressive quality of his art.
With a storytelling approach, Young alluded to the consequences of racism, daily violence, and the plight of the underprivileged. He embraced his surroundings to depict the aspirations and histories of those around him, more specifically that of Black Americans. By painting his feelings and experiences, he created a unique visual language to illustrate power and freedom.
Untitled embraces Young’s characteristic gestural brushwork, vibrant colors, and dynamic black figures. The original drawing uses calligraphy lines to illustrate a crowd of people set against bursts of colors and repeated symbols. His drawings embodied a level of intimacy through his depicted motifs such as angels, workers, horses, railroad tracks, soldiers, prisoners, protestors, and even pregnant women.
Untitled includes a gallery certificate of authenticity and is signed. The original drawing is dual-sided and framed, so both sides are visible. Furthermore, the artwork’s condition is of museum quality.
With his self-taught background and unique blend of styles, materials, and techniques, Purvis Young is a quintessential example of the contemporary artist. Originally from the Overtown neighborhood in Miami, Florida, his home experience is an important recurring theme throughout his body of work. Although he was self-taught as an artist, Young was inspired by a wide range of artistic influences, ranging from American Western Art to Rembrandt.
With a style often compared to finger painting, Purvis Young’s art appears deceptively simple at first glance. The artist often mixes techniques including painting, drawing, and collage, and has been credited with influencing the Social Expressionism and Urban Expressionism movements. His artwork often features horses, angels, and urban landscapes. Urbanism, the African American experience, the American South, and Historical events and historical oppression in particular are all important messages in his artwork.
Purvis Young found artistic acclaim among both collectors, including Jane Fonda and Jim Belushi, as well as museums, including the American Folk Art Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purvis Young passed away in 2010, leaving behind a profound legacy of significant art an important social discourse.