Purvis Young

This double-sided collage is made up of drawings on eight sheets of found paper, four on each side. Young became known in the early 1970s for a monumental work of art that he created in an alley in his hometown of Overtown, Miami. Comprising hundreds of paintings on panel, it established Young’s practice as one of accretion, a strategy that can be seen in the overlapping sheets here. The approach allowed Young to unify scenes as disparate as the one at upper left, depicting young men jumping onto the back of a truck, and the one at lower right, which shows nude, haloed figures in the sea. One of the bathers reaches both arms toward the sky and holds in his hand a boat—perhaps a slave ship—filled with people.

Purvis Young
American, 1943–2010
Untitled, 1980s
Ink, watercolor, and crayon on collage of printed papers
The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Daniel Aubry; 2017.389
© Larry T. Clemons / Gallery 721 / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York