About this artwork
Charles White is recognized for the richness of his graphic work and his paintings, which typically depict aspects of the history, culture, and life of African Americans. A native of Chicago, White attended the School of the Art Institute, the Art Students League of New York, and later the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico. Beginning in 1939, he was employed by the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.
White’s father was a railroad and steel worker and his mother was a domestic worker; this inspired in White a deep respect for labor. Harvest Talk, one of six charcoal and carbon pencil drawings originally exhibited at ACA Galleries in New York in 1953, exemplifies the artist’s mature drawing style. Here his strong, assured manner, coupled with the heroic proportions of the figures and the emphasis on the large scythe (an emblem often associated with the Soviet Union)—as well as the social realist sensibilities that prevail throughout his oeuvre, his travels to the Soviet Union, and his writings for and affiliation with left-wing publications such as Masses and Mainstream, Freedomways, and the Daily Worker—suggest that Harvest Talk was inspired by socialist ideals. Like many of White’s works on paper, it conveys the power of a mural despite its relatively small format.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Charles White
- Harvest Talk
- United States
- Charcoal, Wolff's carbon drawing pencil, and graphite, with stumping and erasing on ivory wood pulp laminate board
- 661 × 992 mm
- Restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman
- © The Charles White Archives Inc.