Thursday, July 21, 2011

Charles Smith's Blues

Charles Smith's career as an artist began in the mid-1970's. As a student at Jackson State University, he studied under Marcus Douyon, a haitian artist who was encouraged to come to America by Glen Lukens and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. In Charles' early work the influence of Douyon and the Caribbean can be seen, however, he quickly developed his own unique forms and style that have continued to evolve over the years. My favorite period of Charles’ work is called his “Blues” period which consists of the pottery that he made roughly between 1980 and 1985. As you might expect, the glaze most often used during this period was the deepest cobalt blue and the sgraffito consisted of some of the most elaborate and precise incising of his career.

Me and Charles outside his studio

Green Pot with Douyon Glaze, mid-1970's
Blue Vase, 1984
Blue Face Jar, 1982 (Photo courtesy of Charles Smith)

Blue Footed Vase, 1984 (Photo courtesy of Charles Smith)

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