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Wanted Poster, Series #11a, April 29 - May 1, 1970

Charles White

American, 1918-1979
22-1/8 x 16 in. (57.2 x 40.4 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Anonymous Gift, 1972
© 2011 The Charles White Archive

Not on view

One of Los Angeles’s most successful African-American artists, Charles White had solidified his reputation as a leading social realist painter before settling in Southern California in 1956. He was a gifted draftsman, and this skill provided the foundation for his teaching at Otis Art Institute and for his work, which explored the triumphs and struggles of the African-American experience. White studied lithography at Taller de Gráfica in Mexico City as early as 1947, and he was one of the only artists of color to work at Tamarind and Gemini. His skill in the medium is readily apparent here in a symbolic portrait whose title, coupled with the pleading expression of the young boy, suggests his potential future. White considered the positive and negative treatment of the lithograph as one unit, and he achieved the subtle gradations of shading and texture through a sophisticated combination of tusche, water, crayon and rubbing ink, scraped down with a razor blade.

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