Charles White: A Retrospective

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Charles White. _Spiritual_. 1941. Oil on canvas. 36 × 30" (91.4 × 76.2 cm). South Side Community Art Center, Chicago. © The Charles White Archives/ Photo: Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics, Inc.

Charles White. Spiritual. 1941

Charles White. Spiritual. 1941. Oil on canvas. 36 × 30" (91.4 × 76.2 cm). South Side Community Art Center, Chicago. © The Charles White Archives/ Photo: Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics, Inc.

CHARLES WHITE: This was the time of the WPA, the Federal Art Programs. And I worked on the WPA program for three years as a professional artist. I painted murals, I painted easel paintings and taught at the Southside Community Art Center.

FAHEEM MAJEED: My name is Faheem Majeed. I'm an artist, a sculptor, and I'm also the former executive director of the South Side Community Center. My favorite piece is Spiritual, no question. It was the thing that I was always told if a fire happens and you can only grab one thing, that's the thing you grab and run out the building with.

You know, I didn't know Charles White, but I knew that work. Those hands. Kind of reach back the strength of those hands, but the grace kind of reaching up into the heavens.

Looking at his work is a lesson in how you tell a story. These muscles, which just reek of labor and hard work. It was masterful.

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