Charles Green Shaw

American, 1892–1974


A master of varied artistic trades, Charles Green Shaw was a prominent painter, writer, poet, and illustrator, and among the first American artists to embrace abstraction. During the Roaring Twenties, Shaw contributed columns to magazines like The New Yorker and began producing paintings, honing his craft through studies with Thomas Hart Benton and George Luks and trips to Paris, the hotbed of the avant-garde. Shaw is credited with making the first shaped canvases in America, with his “Plastic Polygons” series from the 1930s—variously shaped, abstract canvases, unconventional forms that presaged 1960s trends in abstraction.

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