Monday, July 9, 2018

Charles White: A Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago


 Love Letter III, c.1977

"Paint is the only weapon I have with which to fight what I resent. If I could write, I would write about it. If I could talk, I would talk about it. Since I paint, I must paint about it." - Charles White

Join the Art Institute of Chicago this summer in celebrating the life and work of artist Charles White (American, 1918 - 1979). Open now, Charles White: A Retrospective is the first major museum show in over 35 years to feature works from the gifted draftsman, painter, printmaker, muralist, teacher and activist's four-decade-long career.  Get a glimpse here and then come see for yourself!

 Love Letter I, 1971

 Born in Chicago and educated at the School of the Art Institute, White was an integral participant in the city's Black Renaissance of the 1930s. Throughout his career, he continually eschewed fluctuating artistic trends while maintaining a commitment to depicting dignified African American lives with in a representational style.


 Gospel Singers, 1951

 Despite being labor intensive, his technique and stylistic realism simultaneoulsy enhanced the expressiveness and accessibility of his work, bringing White both domestic and international acclaim. 

 Frederick Douglass, 1950

White believed in art as an agent of social change, saying that “Art must be an integral part of the struggle. It can’t simply mirror what’s taking place. It must adapt itself to human needs. It must ally itself with the forces of liberation. The fact is, artists have always been propagandists. I have no use for artists who try to divorce themselves from the struggle.” Subsquently, White used his work as a medium through which to explore questions of race, history, identity and politics that are just as relevant today as during his time.

Charles White: A Retrospective exhibition catalog.

Charles White: A Retrospective is now on view at The Art Institute of Chicago through September 3rd.  Learn more here: Charles White: A Retrospective

Visit the Museum Shop online where you can find the exhibition catalog.

All purchases support the museum's various programs.




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