Installation view of Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw at the Menil Drawing Institute, Houston. Photo: Paul Hester. Courtesy of the Menil Drawing Institute.
By Victoria L. Valentine
Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw @ Menil Drawing Institute, 1412 W. Main St., Houston, Texas. | April 22-Aug. 7, 2022
Born in Ashgrove, Mo., Joseph E. Yoakum (1891-1972) traveled with a few circuses and was a U.S. Army veteran before he settled in Chicago, Ill., late in life and began drawing full time. Dense hash marks made with ballpoint and felt-tip pens add dimension to his poetic, dream-like landscapes. After opening at the Art Institute of Chicago and traveling to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the show concludes in Houston. More than 80 works are on view. According to the catalog essay by Édouard Kopp, chief curator of the Menil Drawing Center, Yoakum said: "I had in my mind that I wanted to go to different places at different times. Wherever my mind led, I would go. I've been all over this world four times."