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Displaying items by tag: Purvis Young

Self-taught, Overtown artist Purvis Young used little more than found objects and paint to craft his works, renowned for their rare ability to capture both hope and despair in the midst of urban strife and upheaval.

Finding patrons and fans in the likes of Bernard Davis (owner of the now-defunct Miami Museum of Modern Art), Lenny Kravitz, and Dan Aykroyd, among others, Young made an indelible mark on the city's artistic evolution.

Now, in honor of Black History Month, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami is launching a new exhibition: "Under the Bridge, Beyond the Beach and Above the Muck: The Art of Purvis Young."

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On March 29-30, over 800 works from Academy Award-Winning Director Jonathan Demme’s art collection will be sold during an auction at Material Culture in Philadelphia. For 27 years, Demme has collected self-taught art by contemporary Jamaican intuitive painters and Haitian and American outsider artists. The 1,050-lot sale spans from the 1940s through present day.

After acquiring a small painting by the Haitian painter Wilson Bigaud in 1986, Demme made the first of many trips to Haiti. The director learned Creole, befriended many local artists, and became a regular at the Centre d’Art, which showcased some of Haiti’s greatest artistic masterpieces. In 1997, Demme curated “Island on Fire,” an exhibition in Manhattan that featured over 100 Haitian paintings from his collection.

A weeklong auction preview will be held at Material Culture from March 22-29. Haitian paintings and sculpture will be displayed by region, alongside works by American self-taught artists such as Purvis Young, Minnie Evans, and Walter Ellison. Demme’s collection also includes Americana wood carvings, tramp art, weathervanes, and canes. 

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Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection presents over 200 objects from one of the country’s most remarkable collections of works by American self-taught artists. On view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through June 9, 2013, Great and Mighty Things includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and other objects by 27 artists who created their oeuvres outside of the mainstream modern and contemporary art worlds.

Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, who have spent over 30 years assembling their collection, will donate the works in the exhibition to the museum. The exhibition and gift include works by prominent outsider artists such as Martín Ramírez (1895-1963), Howard Finster (1916-2001), Purvis Young (1943-2010), and Bill Traylor (1854-1949) and spans from the 1930s to 2010. The Bonovitz’s generous donation will greatly enhance the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection as well as help to establish the institution as one of the primary centers for the study of American outsider art.

Outsider Art, which is known for its raw and out-of-the-ordinary beauty, has become a global phenomenon in the 20th and 21st centuries. Once considered the art of the mentally insane, Outsider Art now holds a prominent place next to modern and contemporary art while maintaining its individual identity.

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Saturday, 29 December 2012 05:07

Faces of Young: Purvis Young's Good Bread Alley

In 2011, when Purvis Young’s Mary and Jesus (Fig. 1) realized a $25,000 (hammer) price at Slotin’s Fall Masterpiece Sale, it was a watershed moment for the Miami-based African-American folk artist who passed away a little over a year earlier after a long battle with diabetes. The sale doubled the previous auction record price for an example of Young’s work. Without any formal training, or even a high school diploma, Young overcame an adolescence of crime to become one of the most important outsider artists; his work both known and shown throughout the world, and in over fifty museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia; the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Bass Museum in Miami (Fig. 2).

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