“Purvis Young: Drawings” at ICA Miami showcases a selection of the artist’s vibrant works on paper. Often executed on the pages of found books and ledgers, Young’s drawings rehearse the range of his motifs at a more intimate scale. They also reveal a diversity of mediums that exceed the usual paint and assemblage practices that he is known for. These works, which incorporate crayons, ballpoint pens, collage elements, and watercolors, add to our understanding of his expressive dexterity.
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.
This exhibition is organized by ICA Miami and curated by Gean Moreno, Curator of Programs.