Soft Guitar, 1937. via Spanierman Modern
Musical Composition, 1935. via D. Wigmore Fine Art
Open Secret, 1939. via D. Wigmore Fine Art
Untitled, 1939. via Christie's
Homage to Klee, c. 1940. via Forum Gallery
Orbit, 1940. via Spanierman Modern
Untitled, 1940. via Christie's
Day and Night Polygon, 1936. via D. Wigmore Fine Art
Flying Figure, 1941. via Christie's
Rooftops and Pennants, 1942. via Heather James Fine Art
Black into Yellow, 1970. via Spanierman Modern
Black and White Against Yellow, 1969. via Spanierman Modern
Flight in Space, 1968. via Spanierman Modern
Interior Number 2, c. 1966. via Spanierman Modern
Charles in military dress, 1918. Photo: Smithsonian Archives
Author, journalist, poet and artist, Charles Green Shaw (1892-1974) was an important figure in early American abstract art. He was born into a wealthy New York family and lived a life of privilege "earning" him a place in the group known as the "Park Avenue Cubists."
Though Shaw took an interest in art as a child it wasn't until 1927 that he began to focus on developing his talent; studying under artist George Luks and enrolling in the Art Students League in New York. Intent on further honing his skills, Shaw traveled to Europe from 1929-1932 where he immersed himself in the arts.
It wasn't until after returning to New York in 1932 that Shaw considered himself a painter. Though inspired by the European styles of art that he was exposed to in his travels, notably Neo-plasticism and Cubism, Shaw sought to create a style of abstract art that was uniquely American and his own; what he soon developed was the style he called "Concretionist".
In 1933 he began what many consider his most important work, a series of paintings in the "Concretionist" style called "Plastic Polygons", which were inspired by the New York skyline.
In 1936 Shaw helped form the Abstract American Artists group, which contributed to the development and acceptance of abstract art in the United States and still exists today. His works are in the collections of many prominent galleries and museums including MOMA, Guggenheim and The Met.
Charles c. 1945. Photo: Smithsonian Archives