Love Letter III
76.2 cm x 56.5 cm (30 in. x 22 1/4 in.)
(Chicago, Illinois, 1918 - 1979, Los Angeles, California)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Color crayon and spray paint lithograph printed in four colors and screenprint with gradated inking
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Susan G. and Edmund W. Gordon to the units of Black Studies and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin
Charles White often used the conch motif to represent femininity, life giving, and creativity, which, paired with the female figure, makes the image a kind of double celebration of womanhood. To conjure the figure and shell in this print, White turned to lithography, a printmaking technique that involves drawing with greasy crayons on a slab of limestone. In the last decade of his career, White expanded his printmaking practice by experimenting with bold colors.
Adopting strategies similar to those used in commercial printing, White frequently recycled important elements from earlier works. The female figure in "Love Letter III" first appeared in "I Have a Dream" (1976), made one year earlier, and the conch shell motif was used a year later in "Sound of Silence II" (1978).