Artist Charles Green Shaw

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

For more biographical information on Charles Green Shaw, click here, here, here, here and here.


Terri said...

Thanks, I didn't know about this artist.

Mid-Centuria said...

HI Teresa, I am glad I good introduce you to a new artist!

Urban Earthen said...

Thanks for a great post- always worth the wait. I did not know about the Park Avenue Cubists - wow that must have been the life

SteveMinne said...

So nice to see this Pre-war artist's work shown to the post-war crowd.