Skot Foreman Fine Art

PURVIS YOUNG, 1943-2010

PURVIS YOUNG, 1943-2010

longjoint by purvis young

Purvis Young

Longjoint, ca. 1990

Price on Request

night jazzman over the city by purvis young

Purvis Young

Night Jazzman Over the City, ca. 1990

Price on Request

jesus with halo by purvis young

Purvis Young

Jesus with Halo, ca. 1994

Price on Request

untitled (figures) by purvis young

Purvis Young

Untitled (Figures), ca. 1989

Price on Request

three blue eyes (with figures) by purvis young

Purvis Young

Three Blue Eyes (with Figures), ca. 1991

Price on Request

cabin in 'da woods by purvis young

Purvis Young

Cabin in 'da Woods, 1995

Price on Request

space bugs by purvis young

Purvis Young

Space Bugs, 1995

Price on Request

going long by purvis young

Purvis Young

Going Long, ca. 1995

Price on Request

wild horses of sable island by purvis young

Purvis Young

Wild Horses of Sable Island, ca. 1988

Price on Request

prison night dance by purvis young

Purvis Young

Prison Night Dance, ca. 1989

Price on Request

gangland by purvis young

Purvis Young

Gangland, ca. 1995

Price on Request

night time tears by purvis young

Purvis Young

Night Time Tears, 1992

Price on Request

Saturday, May 1, 2010Monday, May 31, 2010


New York, NY USA

PURVIS YOUNG, 1943-2010
Purvis Young, 67, self-taught painter from Overtown in Miami who is celebrated for vigorous but simple imagery that is by turns political and poetic, died in a Miami nursing home on Apr. 20 after a long battle with diabetes. One of his favorite motifs was herds of wild horses. During a rough-and-tumble youth in the Miami inner-city, Young grew to identify with the Black Panthers and the African-American quest for social justice before spending two stretches in prison, first in the early 1960s for armed robbery and again after the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, when his heated political rhetoric prompted the repeal of his parole.

In prison he began drawing in earnest, and between ’68 and ’74 started making paintings on scavenged sheets of plywood found in the Miami streets. His quick and brushy images featured outstretched black hands, jail bars, watching eyes, trucks and cars, policemen and angels. Young began installing these works in his own three-block-long "Freedom Wall" on abandoned buildings alongside I-95 in the Miami ghetto, a site that was called "Goodbread Alley" after the bakeries that had formerly been housed there.

Young’s installation came to an end in the 1975 urban renewal, but not before a local art patron had taken note, and Young was given a series of exhibitions at Miami museums. Over the years he showed at galleries and museums in the U.S. and Europe; his many museum shows included "Souls Grown Deep" at the Emory University Museum in 1996 and in "Purvis Young: The Life I See" at the Bass Museum in 2002. The documentary film, Purvis of Overtown, was released in 2006. Purvis Young is represented in New York by Skot Foreman Fine Art, which is presenting “In Memorium,” a special exhibition of Young’s art, through May 30, 2010.