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Simeon Youngmann:

Sacred Image

October 7, 2022, to October 29, 2022

Artist Reception: Friday, October 7th,
from 4:30 to 5:30 pm

Simeon Youngmann uses drawing’s notational and provisional vernacular to reanimate Christian religious iconography. His drawings form a body of exploratory research, mining and re-presenting religious visual history––but they are also a practical extension of his own faith. As a Protestant Christian, Youngmann’s drawings help bring clarity to what he believes, exploring how images of the sacred may still intersect our contemporary experience. 

Drawing sacred imagery is a way for Youngmann to study religious history in practical terms, but this process also involves interpretation and projection on his end. Each drawing becomes a relic of religious history, and a picture of his own spiritual experience––a record of faith inspired by the past and transposed in the present. Youngmann is particularly interested in the peculiar and other-worldly beauty of Byzantine and Quattrocento religious imagery in the context of the 21st century. How do we respond to images inspired by faith today, and what does it mean to hold something sacred, to venerate, or worship? Resurrecting religious imagery tests the viability of faith and the transcendent in contemporary life.

 

Youngman's materials and working methods literally test the durability of these images. Sanding and erasing his drawing surface leaves palimpsests of redacted bodies and modified landscapes, revealing a mutable process. Religious imagery often overlaps familiar moments of humanity: Blakean figures surround a man on a stretcher, a lone child is wrapped in angelic white, or a refugee mother and child become Our Lady of Sorrows. Engaging religious iconography and contemporary experience through the tactility of drawing, his work mediates between the seen and unseen.

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Simeon Youngmann is an artist living and working in the Petersburg, New York area. Simeon received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and drawing from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2013 and his Master of Fine Arts from SUNY Albany in 2016, where he received the Distinguished Master of Fine Arts Project Award. Simeon was a 2019 recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant. Simeon’s work has been shown nationally–notably, in the New York State Museum, Albany, NY, the Saratoga Arts Center, Saratoga, NY, at Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, and at Riverviews Artspace, Lynchburg, VA.

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