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Kenneth Victor Young (American, 1933-2017) Untitled

Kenneth Victor Young (American, 1933-2017) Untitled

Item Description:

circa 1971. Acrylic on cotton canvas.

Signed in ink 'Kenneth V. Young' (on the overlap).

Kenneth Young and James Weaver met in the late 1960's after Weaver took a position at the collection of musical instruments in the Smithsonian's newly opened National Museum of History & Technology, where Young was working as an exhibition designer, a position he would hold for more than 35 years. Weaver would then become Young's musical accompaniment at his various art exhibitions.

Catalogue Note:

African American artist Kenneth Young (American, 1933-2017) known for his colorful abstractions in washes of acrylic, which refer to the beauty of the natural world, art historical trends, and the politics of the civil rights era. Born in Kentucky, Young intended to become a scientist, after earning a degree in physics at Indiana University, he enrolled at the University of Louisville with the intention of studying chemical engineering. In Louisville, Young joined the local black artist's group, where he met Bob Thompson, Sam Gilliam, and Robert Douglas among others. Inspired by the new cultural milieu, Young switched his field of study to painting and graduated with a degree in fine arts. In 1964, Young moved to Washington, D.C. where he began to meet other artists who would come to make up the Washington Color School. His paintings are in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Gallery of Art.


Energy and matter were apt subjects for Young, a young physicist who turned to painting: "I've always been interested in...outer space, inner space, and the development of what occurs - force, magnetism, and that kind of thing".

Exhibited: Studio Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1972.

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