This course on artist Purvis Young focuses on urban communities and Miami history, specifically the history of the Overtown community. We recommend including in lessons on creative writing and local history.
Through his body of work, Purvis Young (b. 1943, Miami; d. 2010, Miami) built an expressive record and a political commentary on life in the Miami neighborhood of Overtown. Realized on found and often distressed supports, Young’s works are populated by a recurring set of motifs that includes angels and ancestors, refugees and prisoners, pregnant women and protestors, soldiers and workers—all drawn from his immediate environment and from the aspirations and histories of those around him.
Young’s works are held in the collections of the Miami-Dade Public Library System; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; American Folk Art Museum, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and de Young Museum of Art, San Francisco, among others. His work has recently been featured in major exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Rubell Family Collection, Miami, and will be shown at the Venice Biennale in 2019.