Tim White, a prolific science-fiction artist whose images adorned the titles of scores of books, has died. Unfortunately, we’re only just learning of his death, which happened on April 6, two days after his 68th birthday.
White’s first cover commission came in 1974, for Arthur C. Clarke’s The Other Side of the Sky. Thereafter, white was a prolific cover artist, creating imagery for a who’s who of sci-fi and fantasy that includes Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, August Derleth, H. P. Lovecraft, Piers Anthony, Roger Zelazny, and Bruce Sterling.
The Science Fiction Encyclopedia describes White as “a representative of a new school of super-realists that began shaping British sf art in the mid-1970s.” The entry goes on to note that “Though Chris Foss and Jim Burns were equally influential, there is a case for calling him the finest technician in this tradition, as his use of very fine detail imbues his paintings with a luminous clarity sometimes reminiscent of René Magritte (1898-1967) or, rather differently, of Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009).”
We’d add that many of White’s landscapes have a flavor of Roger Dean-style surrealism — fittingly, both of them were called upon to illustrate the dazzling packaging for Psygnosis computer games.
Regrettably, we never had the privilege of publishing Tim White in the pages of Heavy Metal, though clearly his art was worthy. Farewell to one of the greats.