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Charles Henry Demuth (1883-1935)

Aliases: Charles Demuth; Charles Henry Buckius Demuth

Professions: Water color painter; Illustrator

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  • Kiss Me Over the Fence

  • Rooftops, Provincetown

  • Charles Demuth (1883-1935)

  • Charles Demuth 1883-1935 , In Vaudeville, Two Dancers watercolor and pencil on paper

Charles Henry Demuth Biography

(b Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1883; d Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1935) American Painter. Charles Henry Demuth became a student at Drexel Institution of Art, Science, and Industry in Philadelphia in 1901 and later studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1905. During the late 1910s and early 1920s, Charles Demuth painted in Provincetown, Bermuda and Lancaster. Beginning with his Bermuda works in 1916, Demuth developed a style, later termed Precisionism, based on depictions of modernization and industrialization following World War I. The influence of Cézanne's watercolors is evident in Demuth's use of the paper in his works from the mid-1910s onward.* In 1922, Charles Demuth's debilitating diabetes compelled the artist to return from New York to live permanently in his childhood home of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.** By the late 1920’s and early 1930's, Demuth dedicated himself chiefly to still life painting, working for nearly six years developing his distinctive watercolor technique. In his later works, the artist often uses the stark white of the paper, or a pale translucent wash, as a forceful element in the painting. Each work is complete (and usually signed and dated by the artist), yet many compositional elements are themselves unfinished. Charles Henry Demuth died, as a result of diabetes, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1935. (Credit: *Christie’s, New York, Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, November 29, 2007, Lot 113; **Christie’s, New York, Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, December 4, 2008, Lot 11)

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