Purvis Young

With a steady and plentiful output, Purvis Young (1943-2010) was one of the world's most widely recognized “outsider” artists. With an oeuvre that encapsulates the mean streets vibrantly and metaphorically, Mr. Young's work deals intimately with the shape and texture of his lived reality. The work addresses power, alienation, ignorance, freedom, and oppression. Viewers have been challenged by the artist’s portrayal of inner city life to determine just how paintings so abstract can seem so real, and how art so anti-aesthetic can be so beautiful. As a complement to his large paintings, the artist altered books by gluing paper sketches onto the pages of discarded books. Page after page express his observations about life on the street, so that the lyrical begins to weigh epic.