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Charles Malcolm Campbell (1905 – 1985)

Untitled (Modernist Three-Panel Screen), 1948, mixed media on paperboard mounted into a three-section screen, 58 x 45 inches, signed and dated on each panel upper right


Charles Campbell was an Ohio-born artist known for his highly individual modernist style which combined vibrant colors and unusual figure compositions.  Campbell spent most of his childhood in Springfield, Ohio before moving with his family to Cleveland where he enrolled at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He was influenced by a variety of European artists from the Old Master El Greco to the social commentator Daumier and the avantgarde genius Picasso. Campbell received his art degree in 1928 after five years of training. After teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art for a year, Campbell devoted his time to becoming a practicing artist. During the Great Depression, he worked on Federal public art projects, completing murals in Indiana, Ohio, and Texas. Campbell also entered easel paintings in major museum exhibitions during the 1930s, including at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1942, Campbell married and relocated to Los Angeles, where he remained for the next roughly ten years. He was fortunate during this period to make a living selling his work through galleries mostly located in California. While in Los Angeles, Campbell painted the present work which combines a riotous, saturated palette with modernist figures that would have been at home in the light-filled Mid Century Modern houses that burst onto the Southern California architectural scene in the immediate post-war period. Campbell moved to New Orleans in 1952 and opened his own gallery. Subsequently, he relocated to Phoenix where he continued to receive the support of a small, but dedicated group of collectors. Campbell’s work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Cleveland Art Museum.  He is listed in Who Was Who in American Art and all other standard references.


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