PETER YOUNG (b. 1940)
Peter Young was born in 1940 in Pittsburgh and grew up in Los Angeles. He studied at Pomona College for two years before moving to New York in 1960 and becoming close with a group of minimal and abstract painters that included Dan Christensen, William Pettet, Larry Poons, and Ronnie Landfield. In New York, Young found quick success, making connections with powerful artists, galleries, and collectors, which culminated in a 1969 with Young’s inclusion in shows at the Corcoran and Guggenheim museums as well as a breakthrough exhibition at the Castelli gallery. But just as Young was building his reputation in the burgeoning downtown art scene, he abruptly left New York, exploring the American West and eventually settling in Brisbee, Arizona where he still lives and works today.
Young’s work defies easy categorization, playing with the rigid formal nature of minimal art and geometric abstraction. In his paintings, he uses the geometric language popularized by artists like Frank Stella, but rejects the reductive and materialist focus of minimal art. Instead, he creates playful and lyrical constellations that have an ineffable and transcendent quality.
His work has been included in exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Arizona; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Corcoran Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.; as well as the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate St. Ives, United Kingdom; Rolf Ricke, Cologne; and Documenta 5, Kassel, Germany. Peter Young’s work is also represented in the public collections the Allen Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio; the American University, Washington D.C.; the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Neuberger Museum, Purchase College, New York; Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; University of Texas, Austin; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.