chicago

“Joseph Yoakum: His Influence On Contemporary Art And Artists”

Carl Hammer Gallery

This homage included a dozen artists who, according to curator Ken Hodorowski, were in one way or another affected by Joseph Yoakum, the black naive artist from Chicago. All the participating artists collect or own works by Yoakum, and their apparent “responses” range from rather obvious stylistic influences to more subtle emulations of his sensibility. Seven of the twelve artists belong to the group that has come to be labeled the Chicago Imagists, a loose aggregation that came into prominence in the late ’60s—around the same time Yoakum’s work began appearing. Yoakum has been described as a role model for many of the Imagists, who sought inspiration and ideas from primitive “naturals.”

Perhaps more than any stylistic aspect of Yoakum’s work, the thing that struck these young artists at the time was his free, spontaneous expression. This was an approach rarely encountered in courses at

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