PRINT January 1966

An Interview with Jack Youngerman

Q: Were your early paintings, in Paris after the war, geometric?

A: No, not really. When I started painting, I hadn’t seen anything that was happening in America. I’d been to the Modern Museum once and that was all. I went straight from Kentucky to Paris by way of the Navy, because in 1947 all the art schools in New York were full. In Paris I really wasn’t in the art world. I lived in a fantastically removed way. I knew a few American painters like Ellsworth Kelly and Bob Breer. At that moment, two kinds of abstract painting were being done in Paris a soft kind of abstract impressionism—by Bazaine and people like that—and the hard-edge painting of Herbin, and the artists of the Salon des Realites Nouvelles. Neither was a direction for me. But that was what I found to relate to. So I ended up using hard-edge or Constructivist elements in a lyrical way in those early Paris paintings. Perhaps

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