Charles Howard is considered one of the vanguards of European surrealism among American artists. Howard, who originally planned to become a writer, received no formal training as a painter except as a journeyman in the studios of Louis Bouché and Rudolph Guertler. Through his friendship with painter Edward Wadsworth, he became involved with Unit One, a group of painters, sculptors, and architects who adopted the tenets of surrealism and constructivism. Howard’s style changed during World War II, during which time he worked in a shipyard; marine vessels, twisted metal, and biological shapes inspired new forms in his painting. In 1946 his style shifted again, as he turned to a more austere monochromatic palette.