Jon Howard Young’s work is about the development of language, visual symbols, and signage. Young appropriates symbols from various points in history; looking back to Paleolithic cave paintings and Greek pottery to contemplate visual language as well as pulling symbols from recent culture such as the line in the sand found in Western films and cartoons. Using the American West as a backdrop, Young grounds the position of these works in histories and mythologies of new frontiers. The work comes from Young’s personal experience of continuous travel that came with being a child of a military family and reflects on the cultural displacement of his Native American identity. Young uses textiles, sand collected from significant places of his nomadic life, and the languages of the Arte Povera movement to create works that act as signs to become points of orientation in an ever-shifting sense of place and time
The current work is an extension of a series of works that Young began in 2016 entitled Waymark Margins. The iridescent fabric performs similarly to hallucinations in a desert; visible yet elusive, like a hologram. They flicker, shift, and move as the viewer changes their orientation to the works. The embossed pillowy surface of these works not only reaches out to the viewer, but also have reflective properties that create a disorienting sense of space within them. Young repeats these disorienting signs to give a viewer recurring moments, so they consider their orientation among them.
On August 31, 2018, the gallery will present Jon Howard Young’s debut exhibition Third Post, with the Bruno David Gallery, featuring new sculptures.
Jon Howard Young was born in Winston Salem, NC (1981). He lives and works in St. Louis. He received his MFA at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art at Washington University in St. Louis and, his BFA at the University of Wyoming. In conjunction with the exhibition, Bruno David Gallery Publications will publish an exhibition catalog of the artist’s work with an exhibition history and bibliography.
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