Gouache on illustration board
Image: 30.2 x 20.2 cm (11 7/8 x 7 15/16 in.); Sheet: 30.2 x 20.2 cm (11 7/8 x 7 15/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Roger J. Lerch in Memory of Carl J. Lerch and Winifred J. Lerch Endowment 2021.13
Charles Elmer Harris later changed his name to Beni E. Kosh to acknowledge his African heritage and conversion to Islam.
Charles Elmer Harris developed his own distinctive form of abstraction during the second half of the twentieth century. This drawing dates from time the artist spent working at Karamu House, an African American cultural center located in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood. The work features a hybrid of rhythmic, angular forms, suggesting the influence of jazz music and African art on Harris. The artist had served in the Marines prior to his artistic career and became deeply passionate about his African heritage after being stationed in North Africa.
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