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Washington Color School: Kenneth Victor Young

Sarah Battle, program administrator, department of academic programs, National Gallery of Art

By the early 1970s, Washington, DC-based artists like Sam Gilliam, Thomas Downing, and Alma Thomas were associated with the nationally recognized art movement known as the Washington Color School. While Kenneth Young's staining technique and interests in abstraction and color were consistent with his Washingtonian neighbors, critics at the time labeled Young as an abstract expressionist. Recently, however, Young’s work has been more closely discussed within the context of the Washington Color School. In this lecture at the National Gallery of Art on April 8, 2019, Sarah Battle examines Young's educational background, profession, and artistic influences, and discusses the ways in which the artist’s practice aligns within—and outside of—the confines of the Washington Color School.