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.

Complicated Systems - Judy YoungbloodBroadly 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.

Hovering Heat - Judy YoungbloodYoungblood 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 change.

About the Artist

Cool Storm by Judy YoungbloodAward-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.

About the Gallery

Founded in 1974 by William and Pam CampbellWilliam Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.

Gallery Hours

Tuesday through Friday 10am – 5:00pm
Saturday 11am – 4pm
and by appointment

Please contact Pam or Bill Campbell at wcca@flash.net or at 817-737-9566 for more information.

Copyright © 2019 Elizabeth L. Delaney