This abstract work by Charles Green Shaw shows broad brushstrokes and white, black and red shapes.

Charles Green Shaw

American, 1892–1974

Equilibrium, 1959

Oil on canvas

32 x 39 ¼ inches

Signed lower left

 

SOLD

A native New Yorker, Shaw got much of his artistic education by wandering Parisian galleries in the early 1930s. Back in America, Shaw covered New York’s vibrant social scene as a writer for the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Smart Set. Soon the cityscape began to inspire painting as well as writing. In 1933 he embarked on a series of geometric compositions that echoed the New York skyline. By 1935 critic and collector Albert Eugene Gallatin was asserting that Shaw was “doing the most important work in abstract painting in America today.”

After investigating wood reliefs and photography, Shaw developed a more expressive painting style in the 1950s. He moved away from smooth surfaces typical of his earlier works and began exploring broader brushstrokes and the effects of surface texture. Equilibrium is a bold example of this style and captures Shaw’s important contributions to abstract expressionism.

This abstract work by Charles Green Shaw shows broad brushstrokes and white, black and red shapes.