May 5 - July 1
Jean Charlot | Champion of the Everyday

Please note that exhibition works will not be available for pickup or shipping until the exhibition closes.

Jean Charlot (French-born, American, 1898-1979) was born in Paris in 1898. He served in World War I and later moved to Mexico in 1921. Charlot participated in Mexican muralism both as an assistant to artists including Diego Rivera and with his own murals. Charlot also lived in the ancient Mayan city, Chichén Itzá where he witnessed and illustrated excavations by the Carnegie Institute, fostering his interest in indigenous culture and pre-Columbian iconography. He studied the works of José Guadalupe Posada which also had an influence on his prints, later publishing articles and essays on the subject. Charlot left Mexico for the United States in 1929. While living in New York, he taught at the Art Students League, then was invited by Josef Albers to teach and create murals at Black Mountain College in 1944. He also lived in Colorado to teach at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and the Fountain Valley School. In 1949, Charlot settled in Hawaii where he taught at the University of Hawaii for over 30 years. He passed away in Honolulu in 1979.  

Charlot is known for his prolific output across several mediums, including murals, original prints, oil paintings, illustrations and scholarly articles. He played a key role in the Mexican Mural Renaissance alongside Diego River  Pablo O’Higgins and José Clemente Orozco. Charlot is credited with completing the movement’s first mural in true fresco. He is also known as a contributor to the popularity of lithography in Mexico and for drawing attention to mesoamerican and Hawaiian art and culture. His works are collected by many major institutions and his murals are preserved internationally. The Jean Charlot Collection is held by the University of Hawaii.

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