Charles Demuth (1883-1935)

January 20, 2004 - March 06, 2004

Selected Artworks · Press Release · Review

Charles Demuth
At Marshall's,  1915
watercolor and pencil on paper
8 x 10-1/2 inches
Charles Demuth (1883-1935)
Zabriskie Gallery presents an exhibition of work by Charles Demuth (1883 - 1935) from January 20 - March 6, 2004. Guest-curated by Thomas Holman, this exhibition marks the first one-person Charles Demuth show at a gallery since 1981. Charles Demuth, one of America's pre-eminent Modernist artists of the early 20th Century, is represented at Zabriskie Gallery by more than 30 paintings, watercolors and drawings dating from 1907-1933.

The works represent a cross-section of his career, included are: still-lifes, vaudeville scenes, landscapes, figurative beach and night club scenes, encountered on his travels to France, Bermuda, Cape Cod, and New York, as well as his native Lancaster. Perhaps the most significant contribution that Demuth made to American art was his ability to combine European and American vanguard movements including Cubism, with the American sensibility and subject matter.

Charles Demuth was born on November 8, 1883 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he continued to live and work for the duration of his life. It is thought that most of the still- life drawings and watercolors, such as Iris, Cyclamen, and Zinnia, were painted in Lancaster, and were inspired by his mother's home garden or the historic Lancaster Central Market. Moreover, in the middle teens, many of Charles Demuth's amateur vaudeville acts, Man and Woman with Chorus, Bicycle Act, Female Xylophone Player, and Male Dancers are thought to be based on traveling acts Demuth saw in Lancaster's historic Opera House.

Three significant watercolors: Daisies, Daffodils, and At Marshall's are generously lent by the Charles Demuth House Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, whose parent organization, the Charles Demuth Foundation has restored the 18th century home of the Demuth family. The Demuth House, including Demuth's studio bedroom, is a public art museum promoting interest in Demuth's work and other 20th Century American Modernists.

Charles Demuth studied at the Drexel Institute and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia and later at both Academies Colarossi and Julian in Paris. In 1914 Demuth was given his first exhibition at New York's Daniel Gallery and by 1925 he became a member of Alfred Stieglitz' group of exhibiting artists at American Place Gallery. At the time of his death in 1935 his work was represented in most major museums.