An exhibition of new works by nationally recognized Texas artist Judy Youngblood will be on display September 6-October 11 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held on Fall Gallery Night, Saturday, September 6, 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. The show will include approximately fifteen paintings and mixed media pieces in varying sizes, as well as an installation-all of which explore Youngblood's long-held interest in weather as a harbinger of change and metaphor for the human condition.
"My work explores the passing of time and the tension between human longings for both reassuring repetition and, at the same time, change," Youngblood explains. Indeed, her work dwells at the intersection of perceived control and tantalizing chaos. Patterns of fat raindrops and swirling clouds collide with other organic forms to move across the surface and emulate the foreboding and excitement tied to weather, both literal and figurative.
Youngblood's present concerns are similar to those that have driven her work in the past, though her newest images have increased in scale, immediately confronting the viewer with larger-than-life elements. The most sizeable piece in the show, her rainstorm installation boasts twenty feet of printed linocut pieces arranged across two walls to create an environment within an environment. Hurtling through space softly yet powerfully, the giant raindrops and hailstones fall from pregnant clouds to engulf and transform the space, holding it at once in stasis and perpetual movement. The site-specific piece plays with perception as well by bringing outdoor elements inside, stylizing them, and ultimately creating a scenario that borders on the surreal.
Youngblood's works on paper comprise the remainder of the show, and boldly employ saturated colors, subtle textures, and complicated layering processes in a variety of media. Complex Weather offers up physical and intellectual intricacies, with layer upon layer of charcoal, pencil, acrylic paint, relief print, and collage. Large, abstracted components-magnified to spark immediate visual conversation-swirl around and through each other, mirroring life's complexity and constant change. And while her pieces are more about content than technique, Youngblood enjoys the making of the work and its subsequent tactility. She notes, "Color, texture, humor, and the physical joy of applying paint and cutting relief prints are important in the creation of my work."
Youngblood engages viewers by harnessing the comfortable anticipation before the storm and the anxiety that arises as it approaches in earnest. In fact, she cites Texas' environmental extremes as direct inspiration for her work: "For me the intensity of the Texas sun, the violence of sudden spring storms, the gentleness of fall rain, and refreshing cool breezes are all wonderful metaphors for the desires and foibles of the human spirit."
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A highly accomplished and award-winning artist, Judy Youngblood has worked actively as a printmaker, painter, and art educator for more than three decades. She has exhibited work locally and nationally, including solo and group shows in Fort Worth and Dallas, along with New York, Austin, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Her work has also appeared in international exhibitions mounted in Canada, China, and Spain. Most recently, she had one-person shows at the Amarillo Museum of Art, Flatbed Press in Austin, and Brookhaven College in Farmer's Branch; was selected for the National Weather Center Biennale; and appeared in the Amarillo Museum of Art's Biennial 600.
Youngblood's work is featured in many public and private art collections across the United States, including those of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Dallas Museum of Art, Amarillo Museum of Art, Art Museum of South Texas, Brooklyn Museum, Exxon Corporation, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), the National Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Texas Instruments Corporation. Her work also appears in the recently published E. Ashley Rooney book Contemporary Art of the Southwest, and will be part of Rooney's next book, Artists Homes and Studio, scheduled for release in 2015.
Judy Youngblood earned a BS in painting and art education and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin. She went on to win a Fulbright Scholarship, which led her to study under W. Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris, and also completed two residencies at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In 2009, she participated in the Dallas Business Committee for the Arts' Leadership Arts Program.
A professor of art at the University of North Texas for more than twenty years, Youngblood was named professor emeritus in 1998.