Charleston (1928) by Aaron Douglas

Charleston - Aaron Douglas - 1928

Artwork Information

ArtistAaron Douglas
Dimensions37 x 24 cm
Art MovementArt Deco, Synthetic Cubism, Harlem Renaissance

About Charleston

The artwork titled “Charleston,” created by artist Aaron Douglas in 1928, is executed in the medium of gouache and measures 37 x 24 cm. It reflects influences from the Art Deco movement, Synthetic Cubism, and is part of the Harlem Renaissance. This history painting attests to the cultural contexts and artistic explorations characteristic of its time.

In “Charleston,” one observes a dynamic scene imbued with the musical and social energy of the Jazz Age. The composition is notable for its stylized figures and the use of geometric forms that suggest movement and rhythm, resonating with the Synthetic Cubist influence. Prominent within the artwork is the depiction of African American figures engaged in dance and music. In the foreground, dancers appear in motion, possibly performing the Charleston, which was a highly popular dance during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance.

Douglas employs a monochromatic palette, creating a sense of cohesion and harmony within the piece. The technique produces layers of depth and interest, further accentuated by the intentional play of light and shadow. Notably, the artwork encompasses the celebratory spirit and cultural expressions of African American communities of the era. It stands as a powerful visual statement of identity, joy, and creativity, which are characteristic motifs of Aaron Douglas’s broader oeuvre.

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