Yuroz: Retrospective 1986-2008

Too much of a good thing," Mae West once famously said, "can be wonderful." Or, as in the case of "Yuroz: Retrospective 1986-2008," now at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, too much of a good thing can be, well, too much. In 2005, the Coral Springs Museum presented roughly 30 works Yuroz created in 1956 in what was then the Soviet Republic of Armenia. This show is of similar size and consists mostly of medium to large oil paintings, supplemented by a few watercolors and a handful of sculptures in bronze and clay. Now as then, Yuroz, otherwise known as Yuri Gevorgian, works primarily in a style that might be characterized as late modified cubism. His subject matter of choice is a couple, usually presented with blue roses and pomegranates as accessories. A handout says the pomegranate symbolizes "the fruit of oneself," while the flowers suggest "love, tenderness, and compassion." The characters typically have the same blank look, leaving it to the viewer to project just about anything onto them. Yuroz is quite good at what he does, but there's so little variety that the procession of unanimated lovers quickly grows old. The earlier exhibition was enlivened by a huge mural representing the worldwide struggle for human rights. Its counterpart this time around is Respect for Refugees (2000), another big acrylic presented to the United Nations and later made into a series of commemorative stamps. Perhaps because it chronicles something so close to home — Yuroz was himself a refugee when he came to this country — the mural has considerably more narrative drama than most of the artist's other work. (On display through November 15 at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, 2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. Call 954-340-5000.)
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Michael Mills