Shaman of Loimaa Alpo Jaakola

Alpo Sakari Jaakola (1 April 1929 – 27 February 1997) was a Finnish painter and sculptor, known as the Shaman of Loimaa. He was one of the most important representatives of surrealism in Finland. Mysticism and absurdist humor were central to his work.Alpo Jaakola matured as an artist in the surrealism-tinged atmosphere of Turku School of Fine Arts. His early work emanates covert and sombre mysticism, examining the link between the self and the subconscious. Jaakola's interest in different eras and genres of art became evident early on and he developed into a genuine "total artist" – simultaneously a "mystical splinter light painter" and an "anarchistic junk metal-concrete dadaist".In 1997, a documentary film about Jaakola was released. The film won a Jussi Award.In 1992, the Alpo Jaakola Statuary Park was opened to the public in Loimaa, Finland. The Statuary Park is the result of many decades of creative work and a monument of Alpo Jaakola's artistic power. Art exhibitions, cultural events, theater plays, concerts and festivals are organized continuously. Alpo Jaakola himself is interred in the Statuary Park.Wikipedia

Color Field painting Howard Mehring

Howard Mehring (1931–1978) was a twentieth-century painter born in Washington, D.C.
Howard Mehring is associated with Color Field painting and the Washington Color School and the artists at Jefferson Place Gallery. Mehring and Robert Gates both received grants from The Woodward Foundation to travel in Europe during 1971 to broaden their art backgrounds. His connection with Vincent Melzac was instrumental in developing his work. Early in his career (1956–1958) he shared studio space with Thomas "Tom" Downing, with whom he had been a student of Kenneth Noland at Catholic University. Some of their paintings from that period are difficult to tell apart.
Mehring's early work is a "Washington version" of abstract expressionism, with the loose handling of paint on a surface but a much more transparent use of magna paint, an acrylic paint developed by Leonard Bocour. The stylistic resemblance to Mountains and Sea by Helen Frankenthaler is obvious.
As Mehring developed as an artist his work became much more structured. He went from a painted surface with an all-over pattern to cutting up canvas with the all-over pattern and gluing it back together. Later he used some of those same forms to make "hard-edge paintings", such as Chroma Double from 1965, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Mehring and the other Washington Color School painters were in debt to the writings of Clement Greenberg. In 1964 Greenberg included Mehring in his traveling museum exhibition called Post-painterly Abstraction.Wikipedia


Neo-conceptual art Steven Parrino

Steven Parrino (1958 – 2005) was an American artist and musician associated with energetic punk nihilism. He is best known for creating big modernist monochrome paintings (his colors were limited to monochrome black (or black-and-white), orange, red, blue, and silver) that he violently slashed, torn or twisted off their stretchers. He died in a motorcycle traffic accident in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at the age of 46
Parrino was born in New York City in 1958 and grew up on Long Island. The family was Albanian-Arbëreshë originally from Sicily. He earned an associate of applied science degree from SUNY Farmingdale, in 1979 and a bachelor of fine arts degree from Parsons The New School for Design in 1982.


Parrino began producing art at the end of the 1970s, driven, as he said himself, by his ‘necrophiliac interest’ in painting, which at that time had been pronounced dead. As early as 1981 he detached the canvas from the stretcher in places to create rough, folded, cleft surfaces, thus achieving a literal deconstruction of painting.
Parrino first showed his paintings of deep-seated pessimism at Gallery Nature Morte, an East Village gallery, in 1984, when he emerged as part of a strain of postmodernism called Neo-Geo. Neo-Geo artists, including Peter Halley, Haim Steinbach, John Armleder and Olivier Mosset, mixed modernist abstraction with a more cynical form of Pop Art worldliness by adding references to commerce, design, music or the movies. Parrino called his mauled canvases “misshaped paintings,” in response to the shaped paintings of the sixties.

In addition to painting, Parrino exhibited painted environments that involved monochrome walls pounded with sledgehammers such as the 13 plaster panels painted black and smashed to pieces as a memorial to the Punk legend Joey Ramone called 13 Shattered Panels for Joey Ramone (2001). He also made films of the making of these environments along with sleek metal sculptures whose bent and folded elements related to his misshaped canvases. He also exhibited photographs of his desktop strewn with the newspaper stories, magazine spreads and music albums that often inspired him. Parrino used intentionally provocative subjects like abstract swastikas, rebel flags, and silhouettes of Russ Meyer starlets, Elvis Presley as rendered by Andy Warhol, the Hells Angels, Johnny Cash, and other works by Andy Warhol. His work has been called "mannered, Romantic, formulaic, conceptualist-formalist heavy-metal boy-art abstraction" by the art critic Jerry Saltz.Wikipedia

René Duvillier - Abstract art

"Born in 1919, René Duvillier joins the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Paris in 1935. Duvillier however defines himself as autodidact stating that the only thing he got out of his time at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts was “learning what not to do”. After five years of captivity in Ukraine and Poland during World War II a defining moment comes in 1952 when Duvillier meets the influential art critic Charles Estienne. Through Charles Estienne Duvillier meets Serge Poliakoff, Jean Degottex, Hans Hartung and Charles Lapicque and becomes part of the “Nouvelle Ecole de Paris” which under the guidance of the art critic Charles Estienne gathered painters from Surrealism and gestural or lyrical abstraction. In 1953 Duvillier exhibits together with Jean Degottex, Marcelle Loubchansky and Jean Messagier in the Galerie L’étolie scellée owned by the founding father of surrealism, André Breton. Also in 1953 Duvillier takes part in the exhibition “Younger European Painters” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

 Although close to Degottex, Hartung and Messagier, Duvillier was however independent. And if, his gestural painting may have affected Breton, in which he found a form of surrealist automatism, his lyricism is much more oriented towards the nature.
Despite the international recognition, Duvillier could nevertheless still be overwhelmed. It is the sea in Brittany that created “a terrible choc” for him when he was invited in 1954 by Charles Estienne on the wild coast of North Finistere. “I found the movement and the gesture there. Everything was moving, the waves, the shore, the sky, the birds. I was especially struck by the spectacle of the Breton horses, manes flowing in the wind, springing out of the foam. I also found the ancient Greek myth of the birth of the sea”.

 This experience gave inspiration for a series of polychrome works with the sea and seahorses as the theme.
Although the themes changed over the years in the work of Duvillier it was always about nature – from minimal movements of waves and air. From the seahorses in Argenton to planets and to whirlwinds, the world painted by René Duvillier connects the personal to the universal and the human to the cosmos. It was the man of the myth and the vertigo, between paradoxes and successive shocks, a generous, rigorous and instinctive humanist. “I am emotional and passionate, the painter said (…) I’m not looking for simplification, or a synthesis ; I am moving on all fronts, I have to keep my totality”. He faced the material and his imagination fed on life. His dynamic and gestural painting associates the almost monochrome to the brightest colors."(

Purvis Young - Outsider from Overtown

Purvis Young (February 4, 1943 – April 20, 2010) was an American artist from the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida. Self-taught, Young's work was often a blend painting/drawing with collaged elements utilizing everyday discarded found objects.
Inspired by documentaries, (art)books, American history and spiritual folklore his visual vocabuluary was vast; wild horses, urban landscapes, (self) portraits, figures, holymen, angels, warriors, boats, sports, musicians, erotica, processions and incarceration to name but a few....(

 Purvis Young was born in Liberty City, a neighborhood of Miami, Florida, on February 2, 1943. As a young boy his uncle introduced him to drawing, but Young lost interest quickly.He never attended high school.
As a teenager Young served three years (1961–64) in prison at North Florida's Raiford State Penitentiary for breaking and entering. While in prison he would regain his interest in art and began drawing and studying art books.When released, he began to produce thousands of small drawings, which he kept in shopping carts and later glued into discarded books and magazines that he found on the streets. He proceeded to move into the Overtown neighborhood of Miami.Young found himself attracted to a vacant alley called Goodbread Alley, which was named after the Jamaican bakeries that once occupied the street; he would start living there in 1971.In the early 1970s Young found inspiration in the mural movements of Chicago and Detroit, and decided to create a mural of inspiration Overtown.He had never painted before, but inspiration struck and he began to create paintings and nailing them to the boarded up storefronts that formed the alley. He would paint on wood he found on the streets and occasionally paintings would "disappear" from the wall, but Young didn't mind. About two years after starting the mural, tourists started visiting the alley, mainly white tourists. Occasionally Young would sell paintings to visitors - tourists and collectors alike - right off the wall. The mural garnered media attention, including the attention of millionaire Bernard Davis, owner of the Miami Art Museum. Davis became a patron of Young's, providing him with painting supplies as well. Davis died in 1973, leaving Young a local celebrity in Miami

 In the late 1990s and early 2000s he began exploring other inspirations by watching historical documentaries about war, the Great Depression, commerce, and Native American conflicts and struggles in the United States. In 1999 the Rubell family, notable art collectors from New York, purchased the entire content of Young's studio, a collection of almost 3,000 pieces.In 2008 the Rubells donated 108 works to Morehouse College In January 2007, Purvis was selected as the Art Miami Fair's Director's Choice at the Miami Beach Convention Center and helped to establish a number of outdoor art fairs in South Florida that continue today.
With artistic success came monetary gain, and Young failed to maintain his estate. Before his death he became involved in a legal battle with former manager, Martin Siskind. Young sued Siskind for mismanagement of funds. In response, Siskind successfully petitioned for Young to be declared mentally incompetent and Young's affairs were placed in control of legal guardians. According to friends, Young was not incompetent and was left destitute by the procedures. Siskind stated that he and Young had settled the suit amicably, and that Young retained ownership of 1,000 paintings and was financially stable.Wikipedia

 "Purvis lived his entire life in Overtown, Miami’s black ghetto. For over thirty-five years, he painted in a series of abandoned, rat-infested warehouses. Previously a prosperous black community, Overtown was once billed as the “Harlem of the South”. In the 1960s, it was largely destroyed by the building of Highway I-95 and now has one of the highest drug-use and crime rates in Florida. Adjoining the compound where Young lives with his common law wife is an alley called “ Bucket of Blood“ with the highest incidence of murder in the greater Miami area. Interestingly, nobody bothered Purvis, the local icon. Everyone respectfully called him “Mr. Young“. In a community virtually without hope, he was the singular example of someone who “broke out“.

 Even though Purvis Young’s work is in over sixty museums, including the Smithsonian and the Corcoran, and innumerable collections such as the Rubell Family Collection, Purvis never thought of leaving Overtown. “I paint what I sees…I paint the problems of the world.“ said Young and in public he wore dark glasses to “hide his tears” at the injustice and sadness he witnessed every day.
Because he could never afford canvas, Purvis painted on every surface available to him –- discarded plywood and cardboard, refrigerator doors, table tops, scraps of fabric and metal trays– mostly brought to him by scavengers in his neighborhood. He creatively “recycled” long before it was fashionable or profitable.
Though until recently Purvis was confined to a ghetto of another sort- that of “Outsider Art “ – his highly expressionistic work can best be described as “magical realism“. His paintings are populated with angels who watch over turbulent cityscapes, faces reminiscent of an imagined Zulu past, and symbols of freedom and escape – wild horses, trucks, and the flimsy craft of Haitian boat people plowing through shark-infested waters to journey to these shores.

“I look at the wildlife” says Young, referring to the National Geographic channel which he watches on T.V. while painting, “in alternation with the History channel”.
“I see the Monarch Butterfly go from here to Mexico and the wild geese go from here to South America. I look at stuff like that and I say that’s the way I want to be, you know. I want to be free.” Three years in prison will do that to a man, which is the time Purvis spent in jail for breaking and entering in his late teens. “When I was in my cell one night, “ Purvis remembers,” I woke up and the angels came to me and I told ‘em, you know, hey man
this is not my life – and they said they were gonna make a way for me, you know…”(