Detail View

Love Letter II
Date: 1977
Culture: African-American
Dimensions: image: 30 in. x 22 1/4 in. (76.2 x 56.5 cm) mat: 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
Medium: color lithograph
Credit Line: Permanent Collection Fund Purchase
Label Text: Love Letter II simply and powerfully associates a mature rose blossom with a portrait framed in the round. The composition and title connect this 1977 print to an earlier work by Charles White. Love Letter I (1971) pictured the face of political activist Angela Davis over pink roses. White created it as part of a campaign demanding Davis’s release from prison. The simulated crinkled paper associates this with his Wanted Poster series, as response to pre-Civil War posters picturing runaway slaves. Love Letter II eliminates the background and spotlights a similarly half-shaded, but older, face and a red rose. I look to the life of my people as the fountainhead of challenging themes and monumental concepts. I strive to create an image that all mankind can personally relate to and see his dreams and ideals mirrored with hope and dignity. White is known for sensitively rendering African-American figures with heroism and dignity. Raised on Chicago’s South Side, Charles White showed a precocious talent and became one of the most influential African-American artists of his time.
Object Number: 2012.5
Currently on view