Los Angeles: Privately printed by the author/artist. 1946. First Edition. Portfolio. Folio. Very good+ condition. Item #016163
Portfolio case with string-ties evidently made by the artist; it is moderately rubbed, especially at the corners. It has an engraved title label (by the artist) inset on the front cover, and measures 16 inches wide by almost 13 inches tall. The plates are additionally protected in a printed paper folder, with a printed front cover and one page of text containing a preface and explanatory text. The text lists four etchings from the original plates, printed by the artist, referred to by the artist as "strophes." The etchings measure approximately 13 inches wide by 9 inches tall, are pencil signed, titled and numbered by the artist, and are mounted to a paper backing. It appears that the intended edition size is 10, but it is unclear how many were actually produced.There is a small pencil signed etching mounted to the single page of text. The etchings are titled: 1) Pacific Souvenir (V.J. Day, Saipan); 2) The Cave, Spain; 3) The Wounded Horse; 4) The Philosopher & The Mountain. There are also two additional mounted engravings, also pencil signed, titled and numbered by the artist: 5) With Many Others (to which is added the pencil notation "Exhibited Library of Congress, Annual Print Show, 1946"); 6) The Fountain (to which is added the pencil notation "Completed Nov 1946. Never submitted for exhibition). Additionally, there are three unmounted etchings, all of which are signed and titled by the artist, but are different sizes. They are: 7) Knight and Sailor (approx. 12" width x 7.5" height); 8) Hero of Volturno (approx. 12" width x 8" height); and 9) The Fly on the Edifice, which is additionally numbered by the artist (approx. 9.5" width x 11.5" height. Additionally, there is another item, dedicated to Bob White and signed by an artist named Miguel Carillas, and appears to be a portrait of Bob White done in watercolor with pencil and colored pencil accents; it measures 11.75" width x 12.75" height. All of the artwork is in excellent condition, with very minor creasing to the edges of the backing paper, and a few small and very minor plate or dirt scuffs on the etchings. Robert Winthrop White (1921-2002) lived and worked in St. James, NY. As a young man, Robert White studied woodcarving, sculpture, and painting in Munich, Germany. During 1938-1942, he was at the Rhode Island School of Design and there was mentored by Walter Raemisch and John Howard Benson. In WWII, he served in the United States Coast Guard and later worked in the Office of Strategic Services. It is at this point in time, just prior to his marriage to Claire Nicolas in 1947, that this portfolio was produced. It is almost unheard of that an American WWII veteran, or any American artist for that matter, was etching in the Surrealist style immediately post-war. White's is a unique and adept style, combining Realism through life-like depictions of military subjects, often surrounded by Surreal borders and interspersed with Abstract and Surreal vignettes. The specters of war are prominent yet fade away in similitude. The horrors of the battlefield are softened by drawing the eye toward the comparative safety of the wild imagination and the unknown. These etchings by Robert W. White are a unique view into the mind of the American artist. He went on to be a well known sculptor, and his work is exhibited in several institutions.