Unsettled Conditions, a new body of work by Texas artist Judy Youngblood,
will be on display May 11 through June 22 at William Campbell Contemporary
Art. An opening reception will be held Saturday, May 11, from 6:00 to 8:00
p.m. The exhibition will consist of new and recent paintings and prints by
Youngblood in a range of sizes. Youngblood has long employed weather as a
universal signifier of the human condition and the ways we navigate a vibrant
and stimulating, yet tumultuous, world. Unsettled Conditions continues that
exploration with colorful, abstract meteorological elements that burst and
collide, move and shift across the picture plane to create a visually and
psychologically formidable environment.
Broadly defined, weather keeps a predictable schedule. Seasons change, each
one bringing certain expected patterns like spring storms, summer heat, and
winter snow. However, within this macro environment, unexpected-and
increasingly extreme-weather events such as massive hurricanes, floods,
and tornado outbreaks also manifest, ensuring constant change and
perpetuating a general feeling of unease. Youngblood captures this
juxtaposition in largely stylized representations of rain, snow, clouds,
wind, and lightning layered among arrangements of heady biomorphic shapes
to spin a dynamic narrative filled with anticipation. The abundance of
dramatic, confrontational elements serve as symbols of constant change,
simultaneously familiar and surprising, and indicative of external and
internal events. "They're very much about people's personal lives,"
Youngblood says of her pieces. Indeed, the abstract, often chaotic,
weather components mirror the intimate concerns in our own lives, where
constants of the day-to-day are often interrupted by unforeseen turmoil.
Youngblood paints in liquid acrylic on paper, which results in smooth
surfaces saturated in highly nuanced color and intricate light gradations.
The translucent acrylic also allows portions of the underlying charcoal
drawing to emerge, building depth and emphasizing the artist's complex
mark-making process. And Youngblood's process is paramount to the outcome
of her art. By incorporating physical, visual, and narrative layering
throughout, the artist maps out atmospheric themes in carefully choreographed
compositions that simultaneously compartmentalize and fuse the shapes, lines,
and textures within the space. Incidentally, she has an ongoing interest in
map-making, and traditional weather maps often serve as a point of departure
for evolving works.
"I'm fascinated by what we humans see and choose to see in terms of making
decisions," says Youngblood, and that fascination drives her ongoing visual
examination of the constantly changing world around her. Her work dissects
and reimagines unsettled, extreme situations in our natural surroundings
as well as in our personal lives. Ultimately, it evokes a "general sense of
things being in disarray," reminding us simply of the predictability of
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Award-winning artist Judy Youngblood has worked as a painter, printmaker, and
art educator for more than three decades. She has exhibited work locally and
nationally, including solo and group shows in Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, and
Amarillo, in addition to those in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and
Washington, D.C. Her work has also appeared in exhibitions mounted in Canada,
China, and Spain. Most recently, Youngblood received the Southern Graphics
Council International's Emeritus Printmaker Award, which was accompanied by
a retrospective exhibition at DFW's Brookhaven College.
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 E. Ashley Rooney's books, Contemporary Art of the
Southwest (2014) and Artists' Homes and Studios (2015).
Judy Youngblood earned an MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin.
She was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, which led her to study
under W. Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris. She has also completed two
residencies at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. A professor
of art at the University of North Texas for more than twenty years, Youngblood
was named professor emeritus in 1998.