Los Angeles

Charles White

Heritage Gallery

To be labeled “an incurable romantic” suggests the artist to be beyond serious consideration and relegates him to a kind of artistic purdah. Mr. White is a romantic and, we sincerely hope, immune to well-intentioned nostrums. His exhibition of lino-cuts and Chinese Ink stick drawings at the Heritage Gallery could be called a sort of box-office smash in the field of commercial exhibitions. Charles White, a Negro artist, was born in Chicago, 1918, and has established an exhibition record of shows and honors second to few others. He is a splendid draftsman.

White’s figure studies are not portraits in the strict sense since they are not merely pictorial but rather embodiments of themes such as Mother Courage (a monumental standing female figure of such endurance as to seem eternal), or Just a Closer Walk with Thee (a tender tribute to a Negro woman in prayer). If occasionally too sentimental, it is not difficult to dismiss the flaw as inconsequential in respect for an artist whose sincerity bleeds all over the paper.

Curt Opliger