Monday, July 07, 2014

Jack Youngerman: Star II

Jack Youngerman is an American artist who was born in St. Louis in 1926, then moved to Louisville shortly after with his family. He studied art at the University of North Carolina from 1944 to 1946 then later graduated from the University of Missouri. He went to Paris, where he enrolled at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts on a G.I. scholarship and ended up staying in the city for 10 years. Youngerman studied in Paris during an upsurge of modern art and was very interested in geometric abstraction. He was popular in the circle of artists and actors in Paris at the time and soon became the son-in-law of Henri Seyrig, the director of Musées de France.

When Youngerman moved back to New York, he introduced a new kind of American painting. His distinct style presents bright contrasts of color that explode on the canvas. The sharp, minimal edges and positive-negative schemes make his artwork appear contemporary even today. His earlier work was unrestricted and lacked any objective reference. His more recent work still shows this freedom and abstraction, but with more distinct imagery of bursting blossoms and birds. Youngerman’s “Star II,” on loan from a private collection, is currently displayed in the lobby of the Georgia Museum of Art and is an excellent representation of his style. He completed this painting in 1970 during his experiment with sculpture. For me, the contrast of cool and warm colors and wild shapes represent his abstraction style and the symmetry presents an image of a blossom.

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