Charles McGee is an African- American painter who often worked with the figure. Charles McGee was born in Clemson, South Carolina in the year 1924. His family moved to Detroit, Michigan when the artist was ten years of age.
McGee served in the United States Marine Corps. He went on to attend what is now the College for Creative Studies.
The artist was also a professor at Eastern Michigan University for nearly two decades.
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Below a short documentary on the artist:
In 2011 the artist suffered a stroke that slowed his output, but he still enjoys creating.
He calls his work a labor of love. McGee worked as hard as any artist to overcome obstacles he had as a youth in South Carolina. When he moved to Detroit in 1934 he couldn’t read and had never seen an electric light.
In the late 1960’s the artist helped to start a gallery that showed many prominent African American artists in Detroit whose works were not being shown in galleries. McGee helped to open the doors for many artists.
McGee has also experimented with the art of sculpture in his later years. The artist taught himself how to use the computer to design sculptures that used an aluminum based material called Dibond.
Charles McGee is a highly talented artist and teacher who has helped to shape the modern art community in and around Detroit. If you enjoy this style of work, as much as I do, two other artists who are similar in style are Elizabeth Catlett and Ernest Crichlow.
In this clip we view a show featuring Charles McGee that features some of his sculptures: