For this assignment, I have decided to choose a painting by Charles White which is called “Hand.” This and other paintings of this artist can be found on the official website of Jerald Melberg Gallery that is situated in Charlotte, North Carolina. This painting was the one that attracted my attention right away; therefore, it will be described and analyzed in the following paper.
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Before exploring the painting in more detail, it is essential to include some information about the author. Charles White was born in 1918 and is an American artist known for his depiction of African American culture, history, and traditions (Charles White). During his active and long career, he was able to produce such pieces of art as drawings, murals, lithographs, etchings, and paintings (Charles White). For this reason, with the help of this artist, individuals living in the contemporary world have the possibility to learn more about African American culture and history.
The discussed drawing was produced between 1935 and 1938. Eve, though there is not much background information available about it, and it does not seem like an extremely sophisticated creation, it had a huge influence on me as a viewer. Obviously, the first thing that catches the viewer’s attention is the hand since it is the only object that is depicted in the drawing. From the way, the hand is portrayed and the presence of thin lines drawn by a pencil next to it, it seems that the hand is moving. Most probably, the author’s idea was to represent a hand of a person who is doing something or going somewhere.
This drawing is also interesting from the point of aesthetics. It includes only one object, does not use any colors, lacks specific patterns and background. However, these distinguishing characteristics do not prevent the viewer from identifying various art elements. For instance, the drawn lines are generally thin but at some points thick, which was done intentionally in order to highlight and make the hand bolder. The yellowish background of the drawing makes it look more natural, realistic, and warm and adds to the feeling that the individual whose hand is portrayed is a gentle and tender woman. As mentioned earlier, it seems that there is some movement on the drawing that can be either an action of walking or a gesture during communication with someone else. In addition, the drawing is balanced, has a smooth texture, and is not overwhelming, which makes it extremely pleasing for the eye.
Talking about my personal viewpoint, I really enjoyed observing and analyzing this drawing. From first sight, it seems to be very simple and not outstanding; however, once you immerse into the details, it becomes more and more authentic and complex. I would say that the main idea of the author was to show the tenderness of a hand and depict a moment of movement or gesture. Thus, the purpose was probably the main reason why the artist represented the hand in this manner. He did not want to distract the viewer with any other objects and details and instead focused on one object and feeling. In general, Charles White is an artist who delivers his ideas to the public in an original way; hence, I would really like to learn more about his career and observe more paintings and drawings.
“Charles White.” Jerald Melberg Gallery, 2020. Web.