Purvis Young (Photo, David A. Raccuglia). Right, Young’s “Shackled In Blues;” top, “Funeral Procession Through The City.”

WESTPORT — An exhibition of work by Purvis Young, focusing on the plight of the under-privileged and the consequences of racism, will open Sept. 14 at MoCA Westport.

“Purvis Young: This is the Life I See,” featuring thirty-six large works by the self-taught artist, will open with a reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the museum, 19 Newtown Turnpike. Admission is free for MoCA members and $10 for the general public. To register in advance, click here.

The exhibition, displayed from Sept. 15 through Dec. 29, features work by Young from the collection of Lynne and Jack Dodick, on public view for the first time, museum officials said.

Young, who lived his entire life in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Fla., began to create art while serving a three-year prison sentence for breaking and entering in his late teens. After his release, he found inspiration in the Chicago and Detroit anti-Vietnam War murals, according to publicity for the exhibition.

He went on to create thousands of works featuring a mixture of painting and drawing with collaged elements, utilizing everyday discarded and found objects, such as scrap lumber and plywood. The work “radiates rawness. His paintings indulge in color and shape. They are riddled with unrest and animation,” the museum’s statement said.

“Purvis Young was an artist that painted his life and community — particularly the black experience in Overtown, Fla.,” Liz Leggett, the museum’s director of exhibitions, said in the publicity release. “Young’s motivation to paint was inherent to who he was, and the stories he needed to tell.”

For more information, call MoCA Westport at 203-222-7070.