Life Model: Charles White and His Students
This short video celebrates the life of artist Charles White as part of this exhibition “Life Model: Charles White and his Students”.
About the exhibition:
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 African American artists in Los Angeles like Kerry James Marshall, David Hammons, 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 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.
Research & Interviews by Sarah Jesse & C. Ian White
Directed & Edited by Matt Kresling
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Located on the Pacific Rim, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of nearly 140,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of artistic expression across the globe. Committed to showcasing a multitude of art histories, LACMA exhibits and interprets works of art from new and unexpected points of view that are informed by the region’s rich cultural heritage and diverse population. LACMA’s spirit of experimentation is reflected in its work with artists, technologists, and thought leaders as well as in its regional, national, and global partnerships to share collections and programs, create pioneering initiatives, and engage new audiences.
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