Charles Alston
American, 1907-1977
Selected exhibitions
Spring Selections,
Aaron Payne Fine Art
Summer Selections 2016,
Aaron Payne Fine Art
Winter Selections in Modernism,
Aaron Payne Fine Art

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.