Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

“On the Surface,” a mini-retrospective of the works of New York artist Ray Charles White over the past dozen years, is on display through Oct. 12 at the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery of Lafayette’s Williams Visual Arts Building.

The exhibition will feature art that White has produced with Jean-Paul Russell at Durham Press in Upper Bucks County.

“White uses an exquisite and painstaking silk screening technique to transfer photographed images onto prepared aluminum panels,” says Jim Toia, director of the Grossman Gallery. “The results are both transformative and sublime.”

A public reception will be held at the gallery 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. White will talk about the evolution of his work at a brown bag lunch 12:15-1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in room 108 of the Williams Center for the Arts. A gallery talk with the artist will take place 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Grossman Gallery.

White also will discuss his work and techniques at separate meetings with Lafayette students and local high school students in Lafayette’s Community Based Teaching Program.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call the gallery at 330-5828

“Two traits define White’s work: an extensive knowledge of the history and craft of photography, [and] a form of knowledge that might be better called ‘love,’” says art critic Gianfranco Mantegna. “Even before photography, there is the profound love of nature in all its manifestations, from people to plants.”

“I’m intrigued by the many personalities of water and the emotions it can incite,” says White. “The crash of a wave represents many things: anticipation, patience, surrender, uncertainty, and ultimately the fragility of nature. There’s a fleeting, transient, of-the-moment beauty to water. My goal is to translate that quality into the piece.”

Born in Toronto, Canada, in 1961, White has been working from his loft in lower Manhattan for the past 20 years. In the early 1980s, he studied briefly with Ansel Adams and later attended the New School for Social Research.

Early in his career, White worked with Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine to develop a body of portrait work that included such cultural icons as Roy Lichtenstein, William Burroughs, Dennis Hopper, Allen Ginsburg, and John Updike. He has had over 50 exhibitions in the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, and Japan. His work is represented in numerous collections, including Tate Gallery in London, Dia Art Foundation in New York, Goldman Sachs Corporate Collection in New York, and the Allentown Art Museum Collection.

White has been the subject of two documentary films. Numerous magazine articles have been written about his work. He was featured in Anastasia Aukeman’s “Rising Stars Under 40” in ArtNews. In an essay on White’s work for Graphis Magazine, Henry Geldzahler, former curator of 20th century art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, wrote, “Charles White brings no theoretical considerations to bear in his work; no gimmicks, no preordained compositional preferencesIt was David Hockney, who, in many sessions of working and talking, emphasized to Ray that one of the true subjects of photography is the ebb and flow of the life of the moment. The continuum of time and space in which photographer and subject find themselves.”

Categorized in: News and Features