Apr 06 at 12:00 PM - Sale 2632 -

Sale 2632 - Lot 59

Estimate: $ 25,000 - $ 35,000
CHARLES SEARLES (1937 - 2004)
The Conference.

Acrylic on linen canvas, 1972. 1270x864 mm; 50x34 inches. Signed and dated in acrylic, lower right.

Provenance: acquired directly from the artist, private collection, Florida (1972). The owner was a friend and classmate of Searles at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

The Conference is a striking and significant painting by Charles Searles. It displays his early interest in incorporating African tribal arts and the influence of the AfriCOBRA movement on his figurative art. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Searles enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1967. He gained national attention with the inclusion of his 1970 painting, News, in the 1971 exhibition of Contemporary Black Artists in America at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1972, Searles graduated, following in the footsteps of his friends and fellow PAFA students Barkley Hendricks (1967) and James Brantley (1971). With his 1971 William Emlen Cresson Memorial European Traveling Scholarship award, Searles travelled to Nigeria, Ghana, and Morocco after graduation. After returning from Africa, Searles began teaching at the Ile Ife Cultural Center in Germantown, which had become a center of the Black Arts movement in the late 1960s. His artworks today are found in numerous institutional collections, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.