Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Romare Bearden was an African-American artist and writer who lived in Harlem in New York City. He studied at the Art Students League under the German artist George Grosz in 1936 and 1937. At this time his paintings were often of scenes of the American South, and he was influenced by the Mexican muralists, especially Rivera and Orozco.

After a period of abstract painting, Bearden came to a crossroads where he stuggled with his background as as student of literature and artistic traditions, and the reality of being black in America where one had to deal with real concrete experiences. 

During the 1960s civil rights movement, Bearden started to experiment with collage. His work became more representational and more overtly socially conscious. He used glossy photographic clippings from magazines, and combined this with paper color fields and painted elements. This style incorporated a modernity into his work, while at the same time making statements about the African-American experience.

HIs themes were universal as he took imagery from everyday life and melded this with his own personal experiences, and themes of classical literature, religion, myth, and music.

Romare Bearden through the cut-up collage technique created a body of work that was both powerful and original.

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