The Picture Tells the Story: The Drawings of Joseph E. Yoakum

January 16, 2009 - January 9, 2010

Curated by Mark Pascale

Intuit is excited to present an exhibition of Joseph Yoakum’s visionary landscapes, curated by Mark Pascale, caretaker of Whitney Halstead’s collection bequeathed to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979. Halstead was an early collector and advocate for Yoakum’s work and his collection includes a number of exceptional works by Yoakum.

Over the course of his short career, Yoakum drew with a minimal variety of tools, and exclusively on papers of average quality. The vast majority of the drawings are inscribed with specific locations—allegedly identifying the location depicted. Yoakum referred to his drawing process as a “spiritual unfoldment.” Although he never fully explained this mysterious process, in essence, it involved his making the drawing and coming to a realization of where or what the image depicted. Once he achieved this conclusion, he inscribed the drawing with the location. Everyone who has admired a Yoakum drawing has asked himself or herself whether, in fact, the drawing truly represents the place that Yoakum has identified so precisely. While the drawings may resemble general or specific features of a place in his professed travel itineraries, what matters most in the end is how Yoakum drew it.

Intuit has also published a catalog in conjunction with the exhibition and can be purchased in our gift shop or online.

Click here to view this exhibition on Flickr