Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Romare Bearden

Well, so far, so good. Of course it's only Jan 4th, but every day this year I have exercised, eaten reasonable amounts of healthy food, and fiddled around with sketching. I did find the "Everyday Matters" emails to be a little overwhelming, so I just set them to "digest" mode. It was great fun to follow the links to people's sketches, so much variety and all very inspiring. Danny Gregory's site is terrific for inspiration and a fun read even if you don't join the group. I have had the "Everyday Matters" link up for ages in the sidebar, but it was seeing how much fun Rayna was having with sketching that got me to join.

Romare Bearden


Romare Bearden, The Family,

c. 1941 gouache with ink and graphite on brown paper

Today's artist for inspiration is Romare Bearden (1911-1988). I have a wonderful book from the library called The Art of Romare Bearden, by Ruth Fine, from the National Gallery of Art.

See wonderful images and read more at their website.

From the intro by Ruth Fine: "Romare Bearden's large and diverse oeuvre, numbering thousands of objects in many media, reveals the artist's remarkable curiosity and intelligence as well as his fervent desire to defy the limits of artistic and cultural categorization." and "One great legacy of Beardon's art is its insight that what we share as a global community is equal in both interest and importance to what makes each of us unique. He achieved this by embracing themes and practices from diverse times and places and imbuing them with an imaginative character and physical presence that is distinctively his own. In the materiality of his expansive expression, method and message become one."

Romare Bearden, Of the Blues: At the Savoy,

1974 collage of various papers with paint, ink, and graphite on fiberboard

If all this ArtSpeak is making you snore, just realize that this was a brilliant, talented and successful man who was nearly as passionate about literature as he was about art. He painted the black experience, but always was conscious of how it related to "universals".

6 comments:

Omega said...

Thank you so much for the introduction to the wondrous looking art of Romare Bearden. I had never come across him before, but am about to look in depth at the website you have linked to.

Debra Spincic said...

Houston hosted a Bearden show a number of years ago. He is a fabulous collagist too.

Gerrie said...

I love his work. The museum where I was a docent in NC, had some of his work. I have the book you mention. Much of his work is very quilty. He says that his grandmother was a quilter and it was a big influence on him. He spent summers with her in NC. He was part of the Harlem movement. Can you tell I am a fan?

mary m. said...

Cool beans. Thanks, Jen.

Elle said...

My little godddaughter went to an exhibit of his last year and said "I saw paint things!" His work is always interesting to me.

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