Charles Burwell, 2008 Pew Fellow. Directed by Glenn Holsten.
"I'm trying to get at something that's not absolutely defined...something that has to do with this grand, ambitious idea of making abstract paintings, and trying to make a painting that feels right—right in my particular time as an artist."
Charles Burwell (b. 1955) creates abstract paintings, often times on a large scale, which are formally rigorous and visually stimulating. Burwell's compositions are spatially complex; since the early 1990s his work has involved a specific layering process that relies on the interaction of the controlled dripped line maze-like linear forms, and organic and geometric forms. His work is a balance of abstraction and representation, figure and ground, organic yet stylized-opposing processes that allow for a multitude of associations.
Burwell has received many honors, including grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Burwell's solo shows have been exhibited at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia; the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE; and at the List Gallery, Swarthmore College, PA. His work can be found in many major institutional collections, some of which include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City. Burwell is represented by Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia.