Lot 4
  • 4

Charles Green Shaw

20,000 - 30,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Charles Green Shaw
  • Conception
  • signed; signed and inscribed Empire on the stretcher; signed and dated 1962 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 72 by 54 in. 182.9 by 137.2 cm.


Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York 
Plaza Galleries, New York

Catalogue Note

The Park Avenue Cubists were united not only by their privileged backgrounds, but also by their commitment to perpetuating the European origins of modernism while cultivating a uniquely American mode of abstraction. Their frequent trips abroad, to Paris in particular, exposed the artists to the ideas and aesthetics of the European avant-garde. Characterized by elegant, playful simplicity, their paintings boldly borrowed from the work of painters like Pablo Picasso, George Braque and Juan Gris, long before such acts of appropriation became an established manner of expression. Shaw's Conception from 1962 exemplifies the direction the artist's work took in the mature years of his career, transitioning towards a more heavily reduced and purely geometric aesthetic. 

Debra Bricker Balken, who curated an exhibition of the Park Avenue Cubists at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in 2002, writes, “The issue of originality, on which the future of their art hinged, is one which in the early twenty-first century endowed the work of the Park Avenue Cubists and the AAA with new currency. What with contemporary artists having raided art history’s closets in the past two decades, appropriating freely from any number of visual sources, the idea of authorship is being sharply questioned, once again. Although clearly distinct from the critiques of modernism which many artists have recently employed, the work of Gallatin, Morris, Frelinghuysen, and Shaw perpetuated rather than undermined the foundations of modernism, borrowing unashamedly to construct lucid, accomplished, and at times ingenious works of art. Therein lie their defining hallmarks, and their singularity” (The Park Avenue Cubists, New York 2002, p. 2).