In contrast to White’s perennial framing as an African American artist, within the group exhibitions in the US in which his work was included, a 1974 exhibition was able to create a decidedly different context in which his work could be seen. Rather than his work being seen in the company of other African American artists, this particular exhibition (which took place in the part of Berlin that was controlled by the German Democratic Republic) saw White exhibiting alongside two artists of European background, resident in the US; whose work, like that of White, could be read as having pronounced social realist narratives. The artists in question were Anton Refregier (1905 – 1979) and Tecla Selnick (1909 - 1983). The exhibition took place within the imposing East German landmark, Fernsehturm Berlin, or Television Tower, in March of 1974.
The exhibition came with this German-language catalogue, the names of the three artists appearing on the cover. Each artist had a section of the catalogue. Anton Refregier’s and Tecla Selnick’s sections featured texts alongside the reproductions of their work. White’s section also included reproductions of his drawings, alongside a substantial CV.
Exhibition of the American artists Anton Refregier, Tecla Selnik, Charles White, painting, graphics, sculpture: March 1974, Exhibition Center, TV Tower.