The Drawings of Charles White

Charles White Drawing

We would like to share the drawings of artist Charles White with the Drawing America audience. We were fortunate enough to see a retrospective of his work at The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City in 2018. See our brief review below. If you get a chance to see Mr. White’s work in person, we recommend it as you will be able to witness the grand scale of his work and his meticulous drawing style.

Here is a great short video from The Art Institute of Chicago to introduce you to his work.

Repost: Charles White at The Museum of Modern Art (through January 13th, 2019)

This retrospective show of American artist Charles White starts strong and gets better as it progresses. If you cannot make it to the show, pick up a copy of the catalog here.

Mr. White’s large, powerful charcoal drawings are both incredibly strong and totally disarming. From a distance, the simplicity of their shapes and forms are compelling. Upon closer inspection, the warmth of the simple mediums (charcoal, ink and graphite) invites the viewer into portraits of great African Americans and unknown laborers rendered with skill and caring.

Charles White DrawingAs an artist, I felt connected to Mr. White in a shared love of simple mediums in large-format work. As an American, I felt a shared burden of grappling with our abhorrent past and more-than-disturbing present of race in our country. And as a human being, I felt lucky to share the space with someone who cared about his craft, loved his mediums, chose his subjects to communicate his message and acknowledged the difficulty and joy of being alive.

I cannot recommend this show strongly enough. Simon Levenson


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