As the summer approaches, I am looking forward to some projects in the works for the fall. Atlas will be less frequent (bi-weekly) until September, but there will still be reviews, studio visits and recommendations. 2 exhibition recommendations this week: Gauguin and Jack Youngerman Gauguin at MoMA closes this week. Do not miss the chance to see this show even if (you think) Gauguin’s work is completely uninteresting. The woodblocks, oil-transfer drawings, sculpture and oh yes, paintings, are a bold reminder of the artists redeeming qualities. I have spent too many years thinking of him as a good painter who was a syphilitic pedophile. Now I think of him as a great illustrator and painter (who was also a syphilitic pedophile).
Jack Youngerman paintings from the 50’s and 60’s at Washburn Gallery is open through June. These small works contain much of what is and was great about abstraction after the AbEx painters took hold. Though he certainly worked big, these small paintings and studies on paper remind us that the lesser known names were often just as influential as the big ones. Youngerman was studio mates with Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin and Robert Indiana around this time. He showed with big name galleries and became part of major collections. Yet when the story was written, Youngerman became a footnote rather than its own chapter. Thank you all for supporting Atlas for the last 2 years. Whether this is your first time reading it or your 84th, I am always excited to hear your thoughts.
Jeff Bergman, June 2014