Los Angeles, CA
Presented at the Charles White Elementary School Gallery | 2401 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90057
Presented at the original Otis Art Institute campus where Charles White was the first African American faculty member (now an eponymous elementary school and LACMA satellite), this companion exhibition to Charles White: A Retrospective illuminates the artist’s impact as a teacher. Beyond fostering technical skills, White urged his students to be “thinking artists” and hone distinct points of view. Indicative of this encouragement, the show features artwork in diverse media and modes of expression, alongside sketchbooks, photographs, and archival footage that illuminate his pedagogy.
For black artists in Los Angeles like Kerry James Marshall, Ulysses Jenkins, and Richard Wyatt, White represented a model for carving out a place in the racist art establishment. For others, his influence is most evident in their own work—the celebratory depictions of blackness in Corky McCoy’s album covers, Kent Twitchell and Eloy Torres’s portraiture, and the sociopolitical commentary in David Hammons and Judithe Hernandez’s work. Collectively, the assembled objects lend a fuller understanding of White’s legacy. One of the most important artists of his time, White cultivated some of the most significant artists of ours.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website