Purvis Young, American (1943 – 2010), Untitled (Horses and Figures), c. 1985-1999 Paint on board, 19 x 35 x 25 in. 2010.0001.0028 Gift of Rubell Family Collection, Collection of FGCU Art Galleries

Purvis Young: This is the Life I See

January 14 – February 17, 2022

Gallery Talk, 5-7pm, Thursday, January 13, 2022


In 2009, the FGCU Art Galleries first presented its collection of Purvis Young’s work to the university and community as a celebration of a gift from Miami’s Rubell Family Collection. This year, in celebration of African American talent, history and art, the galleries are presenting Purvis Young’s work in two arenas: the FGCU ArtLab and the Williams Academy, Black History Museum


Purvis Young worked with materials that he found, recycled, put together, recreated and constructed. His contextually uncluttered approach to art made no assumptions about what should or should not be used to produce his works, or how such materials should be combined. Born in 1943 in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, Young is most associated with the Overtown neighborhood where he settled in his 20s. Young’s work touched on social and racial themes, depicting the struggles and joys of Miami’s poor black community, but the story he recorded in paint is the story of everywhere. His concerns were universal. His view from the street was the view of the people. Heads, figures, animals and icons appear within the abstractions of his layered and complex compositions.


Sponsored by Gene and Lee Seidler; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and WGCU Public Media


Image: Purvis Young, American (1943 – 2010), Untitled (Horses and Figures), c. 1985-1999, Paint on board, 19 x 35 x 25 in., Gift of Rubell Family Collection to FGCU Art Galleries.


 Video interview with Purvis Young (1943 - 2010) released posthumously in 2016.
Produced by Skot Foreman Fine Art, Directed by Dave Seehausen