Art Institute of Chicago June 8 through September 3, 2018
The Museum of Modern Art
October 7, 2018–January 13, 2019
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
With Charles White: A Retrospective, The Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago present the first major museum exhibition of Charles White’s oeuvre in over 30 years, on view at The Museum of Modern Art from October 7, 2018, through January 13, 2019. Covering the full breadth of his career with over 100 multidisciplinary works, the exhibition features drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, and contextual ephemera. Prior to its MoMA presentation, the exhibition will be on view at the Art Institute of Chicago from June 8 through September 3, 2018. Following its MoMA presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where it will be on view in Spring 2019.
Charles White. Folksinger. 1957. Ink on board. 52 × 34″ (132.1 × 86.4 cm) Collection Pamela and Harry Belafonte © 1957 The Charles White Archives. Photo Credit: Christopher Burke Studios
Beginning in the late 1930s and concluding with White’s premature death in 1979, the exhibition features a detailed overview of his work over a four-decade span of enormous change in the US that provided a constant wellspring of subject matter for the artist.
The presentation reveals White as a responsive visual strategist who was open to exploring styles and techniques inspired by contemporary art and culture, and a savvy interpreter of an evolving political climate. White’s commitment to figuration, to directly addressing the social and political concerns of his time, and to mastering mediums that allowed for wide circulation of his art established him as a major figure, and one with significant influence on his peers and followers.
The exhibition is organized chronologically, with groupings centered on the cities and creative communities in which White lived and worked. Each section will be supported by relevant ephemera and supporting materials detailing White’s working process, political and social activities, and role as a teacher.
Charles White. Sound of Silence. 1978. Color lithograph on paper, 25 1/8 × 35 5/16" (63.8 × 89.7 cm). Publisher: Hand Graphics, Ltd. Printer: David Panosh. The Art Institute of Chicago. Margaret Fisher Fund. © 1978 The Charles White Archives
Charles White: A Retrospective is organized by Esther Adler, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints; and Sarah Kelly Oehler, Field-McCormick Chair and Curator of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago.
Charles White. Preacher. 1940. Tempera on board. 30 × 21 1/2″ (76.2 × 54.6 cm) The Davidsons, Los Angeles, California. © 1940 The Charles White Archives Photo Credit: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California.
Charles White: A Retrospective is part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Charles White. Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man). 1973. Oil wash on board. 60 × 43 7/8″ (152.4 × 111.4 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Richard S. Zeisler Bequest (by exchange), The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art, Committee on Drawings Fund, Dian Woodner, and Agnes Gund. © 1973 The Charles White Archives. Photo Credit: Jonathan Muzikar, The Museum of Modern Art Imaging Services
The exhibition is supported at The Museum of Modern Art and Art Institute of Chicago by the Terra Foundation for American Art.