101 x 107.3 cm
Another ed. Tate Collection, P79191.
White Ware Prints is a portfolio of eight screenprints made at Advanced Graphics, a fine art print workshop in London. It was published in an edition of forty-five with thirteen proofs of each image by Waddington Graphics, London; Tate’s set is the sixth of the artist’s proofs. Each print is signed by the artist and inscribed ‘AP’ below the lower right corner of the background set in a broad white margin. The initials ‘WG’, standing for Waddington Graphics, are embossed into the corner of each print.
In the White Ware series, the predominant colour scheme is black and white. The subject of each print is a single white ceramic pot represented against a dark background. Caulfield told Alan Cristea, his print dealer, that the inspiration for this series came from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and specifically from the catalogues they published of their collections of oriental ceramics (email to the author 16 March 2009). The term white ware simply refers to any pottery that has a white glaze. The colour of the ground varies from print to print, from dark blue to grey to brown to black. Three of the prints have accents of other, brighter colours, possibly suggestive of light falling through coloured glass. All of the prints have shafts of strong white light as part of their composition, while some include a light source such as a lampshade or window. As with many of Caulfield’s images, such as Wall Plates (1997, P79185-P79188), the light source appears to come predominantly from the top right, although the artist’s intention was not to imitate the effects of light in a realistic fashion.
Arita Flask depicts a curvilinear white vase with a narrow neck set in the foreground against a brown background. A broad shaft of white light streams down from the top right hand corner, casting sharp black shadows around the pot. The composition of this print is closely related to another print in the same portfolio, Arita Flask-black (P79197). Arita is a place in Japan famous in the eighteenth century for its porcelain, much of which was exported to Europe.