Monday, February 4, 2013

Charles White; the Greatest Draftsman


In many ways Charles White is the greatest draftsman the African/American community has produced.  White is a master of grand style. Robust, massive, detailed works that to look upon is to see into the heart of a people that have persevered for generation on faith and an unparalled inner harmony of self, god and nature. His works are intentional pieces; they are testaments to the power of dedication to the higher callings of the artist. They can sometimes be viewed as propaganda pieces but they are of propaganda of necessity and not one of exclusion or a false superiority. White; by reaching into the self and the genetic id of a people has tapped into the universality of the human spirit. In short his works speak to all nations and every human condition.


The Nineteen Forties through Seventies were White’s productive years and his style evolved and matured as his skill of craft grew. He was married for time to another luminary artist, Elizabeth Catlett. There are individual works by both artists that show a commonality of style and influences.

White was recognized on a global scale throughout his life. He was much lauded and influential as a teacher as well as a professional artist and a friend to the creative men and women of his time. His works of power, beauty and grace virtually shout to the highest of hills of joy and into the deep valleys of despair with the eloquence only the greatest of artists are able to imbue into their works.

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