Jim Youngerman, “New Work: Strange & Alluring” set to open Saturday, August 4, with a reception for the artist from 4-7pm. The show runs through August 26.
Known locally and nationally as a fine artist working primarily in watercolor, ink and graphite on paper, Mr. Youngerman’s work has been recognized as brilliant, lyrical, surreal and often humorous. His work is deep yet whimsical and employs visual commentary on everything from politics to the environment and to our relationship to the animal kingdom.
Included in the show are two unusual collaborations with the artist. The first is a series of collaborative prints which were developed by Jim and poet David Keplinger. Over the period of a year the two exchanged art and words to create this unique body of work.
The experience was unique for both; an unprecedented process of give and take. It all started in September of 2015 when Jim noticed the boots Davey was wearing and snapped a photo thinking he could see a poem in the boots. Jim started the process by presenting David with 12 drawn images.
At this point, David wrote poems in response to them and in some cases, removing sections of the images and inserting the poems. In response to that, Jim then selected specific lines from the poems, merging them with the images. In one piece, David wrote a poem which included flying birds, which Jim later added to the composition. The process continued back and forth, as both finely tuned the balance of image and written word, resulting in twelve giclée prints.
The second, less a collaboration and more of a spontaneous interpretive inspiration by Berkshire musician Johnny Irion, is based on a particular artwork by Jim, making for a wonderful visual and aural experience.
Mr. Youngerman has participated in over 60 art shows locally, nationally and internationally from the 1970’s to the present, and is in many prominent collections. Well known in the theater world, Mr. Youngerman is also an award winning stage and set designer. Having worked with Shakespeare & Co. for 10 years, this summer he is designing the sets for is “As You Like It” in the Roman Garden Theater.
On August 11 from 2-3:30pm, David Keplinger will be reading from his latest collection of poetry along with a discussion and talk back with Jim about their collaboration.
A few words from the artist:
“I make these works on paper one step at a time; never having
a preconceived idea of where things will go. This stream of
consciousness approach produces compositions with
juxtapositions of people, places and objects, which often exist
within ambiguous timeframes.
I use simple lines in a lyrical, figurative, quasi cartoon style to
paradoxically get at something a bit deeper. I juxtapose people
and animals in perplexing situations; in doing so, I attempt to
explore dualities and commonalities. I never draw conclusions
but prefer to pose questions.
My painting has evolved over the years, while always working
on paper. I have always used medium to achieve
my ends, not to try to find meaning within the medium. It’s not
about letting the paint speak or trying to find meaning in the
graphite itself, rather, it’s about using various techniques to
reinforce and illuminate the narrative which I’m putting forth.”