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Purvis Young at Exor Galleries through July 30

EXOR RAW #3 Freedom of the Stallions

EXOR RAW #3 Purvis Young, Freedom of the Stallions, 91" by 48" House paint and carpet on wood, late 90's

Purvis Young: RAW, which opened at EXOR Galleries Boca Raton, May 23, features twenty works by the ultimate recycler and artist extraordinaire, Purvis Young. Several of the works will be on public view for the first time. The collection includes several large wooden pieces which characterize the body of work Purvis produced during his most vital decades. Purvis Young: RAW will be on exhibit through July 30, 2009.
“One cannot help but take notice when there is such appetite behind the brush. Purvis has committed his entire life to visual expression-he is a driven soul,” says  Suzanne Khalil, MFA, Ph.D., Curator, EXOR Galleries.
Celebrated as America’s premier urban contemporary painter, Young’s work is featured in private collections throughout the world and 37 prestigious national public collections, including: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Studio Museum of Harlem and the American Folk Art Museum. Young, a Miami native received the “Key to the City” on December 5, 2008.

The Art of Purvis Young:
By Suzanne Khalil, Curator, Exor Galleries

This is the era of Purvis.  Some artists are masterful self-promoters, some artists hire great advocates to push their work, and yet the quiet one, the one who simply spends his waking life painting, is the one taking America by storm. The rally around Purvis is unprecedented. A feature length documentary film (2006, Purvis of Overtown), several books on him and his art, an impressive list of exhibitions and permanent museum collections are just flickers of the Purvis flame that’s burning in America. Housed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), Young pieces are already coveted as American treasures.
Purvis Young is the ultimate recycler. He paints on anything that can support paint and the pressure of an artist’s hand-cardboard, discarded political signs, used paper, doors, plywood scraps, metal sheets, carpet remnants-you name it and Purvis has painted on it. It all sounds very “green” until you realize that Purvis isn’t about being green for “green’s sake.” Purvis is a resourceful man; he uses materials and inspiration harvested from the streetscapes that he depicts.
Purvis is the real deal. He paints with the conviction that God put him on Earth to paint. There’s no image to protect or vogue wave that he’s looking to ride. Raw Purvis paints the struggles of humanity on everything around him. Familiar forms in his work address racial struggles and urban afflictions. Recurring metaphors of white horses offering freedom, halos signifying saintly stature, pregnant women with the hope of a fruitful tomorrow all emerge with a vital life force invigorating yesterday’s discards.

EXOR RAW #2 Purvis Young, Five Angels, 96

EXOR RAW #2 Purvis Young, Five Angels, 96" by 48' House paint on wood, mid 80's

His approach to art making is totally free from convention.  Even the orientation of the pieces is non-traditional. Typically working around the wooden surface from all sides, Young creates pieces which have more than one possible orientation. Often a piece with a seemingly dominant orientation reveals an upside-down signature embedded in imagery that was created according to another ground line. Young’s materials, method and motivation are all strikingly pure, strikingly raw. Even though artists have always worked on the fringe, it is rare to find an artist who works beyond convention without drawing attention to that decision as a reflexive post-modern commentary. Civilization presents us with countless social mores and conventions that can limit expression and creativity. It’s refreshing to enjoy raw art created from his simple desire to present the urban story on urban artifacts. Purvis Young works without distraction of what the fine arts establishments have accepted and rejected.

EXOR Galleries is located at . Gallery hours are: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Evenings and Sunday by appointment. For details of current and upcoming exhibitions, visit, call 561-361-7474 or e-mail: .

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Posted by admin on May 26 2009. Filed under Art, Culture, Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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