Thursday, October 7, 2010

Miami Beach Celebrates the Art & Life of Purvis Young

Miami native Purvis Young, whose self-taught paintings have been acclaimed worldwide, is being celebrated in an exhibition at the Miami Beach Convention Center, with a selection of works owned by the  Bass Museum on Miami Beach. Young passed away in April at the age of 67.

Born in Liberty City in 1943, Young had an early brush with the law, and while in prison, decided to turn his life around through art. His early canvasses were whatever he could find: discarded doors, cardboard - anything he could paint on. Young had no formal education and did not even graduate from high school, but his art resides in museums and galleries from Miami to the Smithsonian to Cologne, Germany. According to his obituary in the New York Times, Young "was influenced by a number of artists — including Rembrandt, El Greco, van Gogh and Delacroix — whose works he pored over in art books in the public library." The last several years of his life, Young fought with diabetes, which eventually required him to live in a nursing home.

The Bass Museum has some of Young's works as part of its permanent collection; the exhibition at the Convention Center (1700 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach) will begin Oct. 7 and run indefinitely.

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