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Apollo Magazine

Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw

June 4, 2021

Drawing by Joseph Yoakum titled "American Zeppolin flight from New York City to Paris France in Year 1939" from 1969

American Zeppolin Flight from New York City to Paris France in Year 1939 (1969; detail), Joseph E. Yoakum. The Art Institute of Chicago

It was at the age of 71, while living as a retired veteran in Chicago, that Joseph E. Yoakum reported having the dream that inspired him to become an artist. And so in the early 1960s Yoakum – who had worked in several travelling circuses and served in the US army during the First World War – began producing surreal landscapes inspired by these past life experiences at home and abroad.

A selection of these brightly coloured works on paper now goes on view at the Art Institute of Chicago (12 June–18 October), in an exhibition co-organised with MoMA and the Menil Collection. Find out more from Art Institute of Chicago’s website.

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