Charles Howard
1899-1978

Theme/Style – Abstraction, Surrealism

Media – Oils, murals

Artistic Focus – Possessing the most abstract style of the four Howard brother-artists, Charles Howard shared the family’s focus on precision and attention to detail, while developing a highly individual artistic identity. Despite public identification as an Abstract-Surrealist, Howard moved beyond that label, seeking equilibrium between the rational and the irrational. Howard’s work in the 1940s demonstrated “a remarkable consistency of theme and execution.” Later in the decade, he began to multiply the forms and complicate the interaction between shapes and linear elements. Toward the end of his career, Howard once again simplified his works by reducing the number of shapes and restricting his palette by subtle degrees.

Career Highlights –

• He was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as Harvard and Columbia, in preparation for a career in journalism.
• Howard’s career took him from New York to California and back, and across the ocean to England and the Continent.
• A self-taught artist, his work was exhibited widely wherever he chose to live and paint.
• In the 1930s, after marrying British painter Madge Knight, Howard settled in England, where he remained until the outbreak of World War II. The couple spent the war years in San Francisco, but returned to England in 1946.
• Between 1959 and 1965, he lived in London, where he taught and continued to paint.
• Upon his retirement in 1970, he returned with Knight to Italy, where he was originally inspired, to live out his remaining years.

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