Jack Youngerman (American/New York, 1926-2020) , "Wellspring", 1987, oil on linen, signed, titled and dated en verso, dia. 58 3/4 in., unframed. Note: Born in Louisville in 1926, Jack Youngerman was a leading member of the generation of artists who sought to explore abstraction in more analytical terms following the disordered impulsivity of Abstract Expressionism. From 1947 to 1948, he studied painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he continued to live and work until returning to New York upon the encouragement of Betty Parsons in 1956. After relocating to New York, he was included in the seminal “Sixteen Americans” exhibition in 1959 at the Museum of Modern Art, where he shared wall space with fellow luminaries and friends such as Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Ellsworth Kelly. Youngerman’s fluid, emblem-like shapes embrace flatness, seeming to leap forward to meet the viewer with bold primary colors. The vaguely organic shapes flirt with representation but remained nonrepresentational - "floating like mysterious essences in a timeless spirit world." The artist wrote in Art in America in 1968: “We are immersed in the powerful and autonomous effigies of the world before these forms are possessed and diminished by names and uses, the name pre-empting the form. Painting involves the restoring of the image to that original primacy.” In 1987, Youngerman returned to his first love of painting following a twelve-year hiatus as a sculptor, working on a more modest scale with a newfound interest in texture. Gleaming slicks of oil paint are juxtaposed against bare areas of canvas in whirling kaleidoscopes of color, as seen in the work offered here of the same year. "Wellspring" harkens to the paradox presented by Roy Lichtenstein's famous "Brushstroke" series - a celebration of expressionist gesture through meticulously designed stylization. Ref.: Grimes, William. "Jack Youngerman, Distinctively Abstract Artist, Dies at 93." The New York Times. Feb. 20, 2020

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