An exhibition of 159 works on paper by Jack Youngerman will be held at the Washburn Gallery in a celebration of the artist’s 80th birthday. Opening March 23 through May 6, the works on paper will span 30 years of Youngerman’s career from Paris and Coenties Slip in the 1940s and 1950s, to Greenwich Village and Bridgehampton in the 1960s and 1970s. The Youngerman works on paper are really small-scale paintings, for the most part brilliant in color, some in black and white, matted, unframed and installed on shelves in three rows surrounding the gallery.
From Art in America in 1996, Richard Kalina wrote about Youngerman’s small works on paper as follows:
After early interest in hard-edged constructivist geometries…Youngerman began to explore the complex interactions of abstract organic shapes – his primary artistic concern ever since. The precision, solidity and intimate scale…put a sharp focus on Youngerman’s themes and devices: positive and negative space, figure and ground, symmetry and asymmetry, shape and color.
The forthcoming Youngerman show will explore these ideas in depth given the large number of works to be exhibited: all 159 somehow suggest a visit to the artist’s studio in time and space.