Lassiter has been described by one curator as an idiosyncratic visionary with an original and unique approach to painting. In 1951, he graduated from Yale and later studied art at NYU. Lassiter studied at the Brooklyn Museum Art School while spending summers at the Skowhegan School of Painting in Maine. MoMA first recognized his genius in 1956 when his work was featured in a contemporary drawings exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to MoMA, his works can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Musée de l’Art Brut, among others.
This is the first time “Lassiter’s Lassiters”—his personal best
paintings on canvas and paper from 1957-2000— are being offered
to collectors, galleries and museums.
Lassiter broke from the mainstream of the 1950s art world and became a deep diver more spiritually aligned with Dubuffet, Ensor and Klee. The central characters in his paintings are lively calligraphic figures, quizzical portraits and bizarre animals, each invigorating either canvas or paper as their surreal dance floors. While most contemporary artists’ work is derivative, lacks imagination or creativity, Charles Lassiter represents one of the best examples of a 20th century artist who exemplifies everything that is critical in great art. In a word, his is a vision of greatness—exuding imagination, inventiveness and inspiration. The breadth and depth of his artistic expressions in drawing and painting thoroughly validate his genius.