chicago

Joseph Yoakum, Paradice Range near Damascus Syria South East Asia, 1969, pen and colored pencil on paper, 12 × 19".

Joseph Yoakum

Carl Hammer Gallery

Joseph Yoakum, Paradice Range near Damascus Syria South East Asia, 1969, pen and colored pencil on paper, 12 × 19".

The fabulist and inveterate drifter Joseph Yoakum was known to claim that he had traveled the world as a circus man, a soldier, and a train porter during the first six or so decades of his life. In 1962, at the age of seventy-one, he took up drawing and began working out of a storefront gallery on Chicago’s South Side, quickly becoming the self-taught paragon of the city’s art community. Yoakum’s visionary landscapes had an especially profound impact on the developing visual styles of the Chicago Imagists, who were rising to international prominence in the late ’60s (and who made him an honorary member). His influence is perhaps most clearly felt in Chicago Imagist Roger Brown’s work. The younger artist’s graphic paintings featuring built-up, repetitive motifs are indebted to Yoakum’s rich visual vocabulary and inventive use of pattern and design. Brown would acknowledge that

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