Arthur Carles

(1882-1952)

Arthur Carles, born in 1882, was an important early American Modernist. He began his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art with William Merritt Chase from 1900-07. He won the PAFA Cresson Scholarship to study in Paris, where he received lessons from Matisse from 1907-10. In 1908, Carles became a founding member of the New Society of American Artist in Paris. German Expressionism as well as the Parisian Modernists heavily influenced him. Often his work showed very vivid colors typical of the Fauves. In 1912, Alfred Stieglitz promoted Carles first one-man show, where he was hailed as an innovator of expressive color, texture and form. Carles went on to become an influential and well-liked teacher at the PAFA from 1917-25. He often lectured on how painting should be constructed through the use of color. By 1928, Carles painting took on an interest in cubism and geometric abstraction. Unfortunately though, Carles slid into alcoholism during the later part of his life and was unable to fully develop the last stage of his painting career.