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Smart Museum of Art

Joseph Elmer Yoakum: Line and Landscape

September 8, 2009 - May 2, 2010

Installation image of Joseph Elmer Yoakum: Line and Landscape at the Smart Museum of Art in 2009

Joseph Elmer Yoakum: Line and Landscape, Smart Museum of Art, 2009

During the last decade of his life, self-taught artist and South Side resident Joseph Yoakum (1890–1972) began drawing almost full time. He produced several thousand works in this short period, mostly of highly stylized landscapes.

Although he titled his drawings after specific locations from around the globe, Yoakum was less concerned with their likeness to the physical sites than with the feelings they evoked—a process he referred to as “spiritual unfoldment.”

This compelling exhibition features works from the Smart Museum’s permanent collection, and is paired with a related presentation of works by the Chicago Imagists, many of whom were Yoakum’s friends and profoundly inspired by his art.


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