Charles Alston

American, 1907–1977

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Charles Alston

American, 1907–1977

237
Followers
Biography

An active figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Charles Alston created vital representations of black experiences and figures during the middle of the 20th century with his paintings, sculptures, and illustrations. Alston served in the Works Progress Administration during the Depression and the Office of War Information during the Second World War, and his early work demonstrates affinities toward realism in his sympathetic portraits and large-scale public murals. In the 1940s, his work turned toward Cubism and began to exhibit sharper lines and masklike characteristics, while the Civil Rights era fueled a more critical tone in his work, imbuing religious allusions with a sense of political immediacy. Throughout his life, Alston remained active alongside fellow Harlem Renaissance artists Hale Woodruff and Romare Bearden—his relative by marriage—and served as an important influence to Jacob Lawrence.

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Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Biography

An active figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Charles Alston created vital representations of black experiences and figures during the middle of the 20th century with his paintings, sculptures, and illustrations. Alston served in the Works Progress Administration during the Depression and the Office of War Information during the Second World War, and his early work demonstrates affinities toward realism in his sympathetic portraits and large-scale public murals. In the 1940s, his work turned toward Cubism and began to exhibit sharper lines and masklike characteristics, while the Civil Rights era fueled a more critical tone in his work, imbuing religious allusions with a sense of political immediacy. Throughout his life, Alston remained active alongside fellow Harlem Renaissance artists Hale Woodruff and Romare Bearden—his relative by marriage—and served as an important influence to Jacob Lawrence.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Shows Featuring Charles Alston
Articles Featuring Charles Alston
The Overlooked Black Women Who Altered the Course of Feminist Art
Apr 28th, 2017
The Overlooked Black Women Who Altered the Course of Feminist Art
When the U.S. Government Paid the Working Class to Be Artists
Feb 1st, 2017
When the U.S. Government Paid the Working Class to Be Artists
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