Charles Green Shaw followed his undergraduate education at Yale with classes at the Art Students League under Thomas Hart Benton. Benton's instruction was based on principles of abstraction which informed...
Charles Green Shaw followed his undergraduate education at Yale with classes at the Art Students League under Thomas Hart Benton. Benton's instruction was based on principles of abstraction which informed Shaw's development, but it wasn't until a trip to Paris in 1932 that he began to work in his "plastic polygon" style. Exposure to Picasso and Cézanne cemented his commitment to his own manner of Cubism, and plastic polygons would consume his work for the rest of the decade. The present work plays with figuration in Shaw's plastic polygon style using the humanoid form of a mannequin in sharp lines and bright colors. Abstracted elements include a body shaped like an artist’s palette, a tuxedo vest resembling a sheet of music and a stage tilted beneath him. In her current essay on The Park Avenue Cubists, Carol Troyen describes this work as “a playful commentary on the performative aspect of art-making. He seems almost to be doing a strip-tease, having already discarded his bowtie as he struts across the stage.”
[Richard York Gallery, New York]; [Sale: Christie's East, New York, October 4, 2000, lot 183]; to Private collection, Katonah, New York, until 2018; By bequest to the present owner, 2018 until the present
Richard York Gallery, New York, Charles G. Shaw: Abstractions of the Thirties, May 1987, no. 18 // Menconi + Schoelkopf, New York, The Park Avenue Cubists, April 26-June 4, 2021, no. 9, illus.
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