Charles Bragg, American (1931 - 2017)

Charles Bragg

Considered the foremost social satire artist in America, Charles Bragg is highly acclaimed for his cryptic and humorous portraits. Bragg is a spiritual descendent of Bosch, Brueghel and Daumier, all of whom lampooned the foolish elements of society. H.L. Menken said, "Nothing can come out of an artist that is not in the man." Charles Bragg is a case in point, combining a strong sence of humor with thought-provoking opinions.

Charles Bragg is a devoted student of the human race. As one of the master observers of contemporary times, he and his little figures have etched their way into the American heart. His is a unique perspective on the human comedy-it is the reasurring viewpoint of the fellow traveler. If you recognize yourself in a painted expression on one of his character's faces-a look so precisely rendered that your empathy is spontaneous and unconscious-it is because Bragg has been to the mountain and suffered that big of tangled reality himself. He is the constant observer, but never the innocent bystander.

Before pursuing art, Bragg worked as a cow driver, a truck driver, a stand-up comedian, and a factory worker. He eventually settled in California, where he began his artistic career. He started by painting portraits of wealthy families, as well as offering lessons. He began to pursue his own creative work and experienced some success. His success came from the humor and satirical style of his work, which often portrayed flaws in American society. His political opinions are featured in his work. Bragg has referred to himself as a "devoted student of the human race" and an "observer."

Bragg's works have been showcased in museums and exhibits around the world, and he has had work commissioned by Playboy magazine. In 1986, PBS made a documentary about him called "Charles Bragg - One of a Kind." One of Bragg's lithographs, The Screen Goddess, is featured prominently in the opening scene of the 1992 Robert Altman film, The Player.

Bragg lived in Beverly Hills. He had two children and died on January 9, 2017 at the age of 85.

Born: St. Louis, Missouri, 1931
Resident of Beverly Hills
Studied: High School of Music and Art, New York, NY
Art Students League, New York, NY
Taught: UCLA Extension Lectures
"This is Art" National Educational TV Network
(Subsidized by the Ford Foundation)
Selected Group "Childe Hassam Purchase Award" Exhibition - National Academy of Arts
Shows: And Letters, "20th Century Americans" - ACA Galleries, NY, "36th Midyear Show" ¬
Butler Institute of America, "Looking West" - ACA Galleries, NY, Stampe D' Arle ¬
Rome, Italy
One-Man: Long Beach Museum of Art, Upstairs Gallery, Gallerie de Tours, San Francisco, The Huntington Gallery, LI, NY, Gallerie Wolfram, Vienna, Austria, Nahan Gallery, New Orleans, Henkle Galleries, Houston, Galleries Richard P. Hartmann, Munich, Germany, University of Notre Dame, University of Florida
Awards: Gold Medal - National Society of Illustrators, Gold Medal - Artists Guild of Chicago,
Award of Merit - Art Directors Guild of New York, Childe Hassam Purchase Award Prize, Award of Excellence ~ Communication Arts Magazine, Certificate of Merit - Art Directors Guild of New York, Award of Distinctive merit, NY, Art Directors 50th Art Exhibition, 2 Awards of Merit - National Society oflllustrators, Gold Medal¬Communigraphics Exhibition, Certificate of Merit - Society of Publication Designs,
Award of Excellence - Graphic Arts Council of Chicago
Museum & Public Collections:
Pushkin Museum, Moscow, USSR - Galleria d' Arte, Moderna de Milano ¬Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland - Dayton Art Museum, Ohio - Downey
Museum of Art, California - Long Beach Museum of Art, California - Wichita State University Collection - Roswell Museum Collection, New Mexico - Canton Art Institute, Ohio - Loch Haven Art Center, Orlando Florida - University of Wyoming Museum of Art - The Albrecht Museum of Art, St Joseph, Mo - St Lawrence University, Canton, NY - Gibbes Art Center, Charleston, SC - Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Michigan ¬University of Judaism, Los Angeles, Ca - Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska - Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas - Joseph Hirshhorn Collection, National Gallery of Design, NY
Commissions:
The Center Magazine
Playboy Magazine
Ramparts Magazine
Books: "The Absurd World of Charles Bragg"

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