One of the nation's most unique artistic voices finds expression in this fascinating retrospective of his work, illuminating his groundbreaking work in collages, photastats, watercolors, gouaches, and oils, including examples of his lesser-known landscape painting, sculpture, costume designs, and much, much more. 17,500 first printing.
Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was one of America's great artistic innovators, blazing his own trail in a time of turbulent cultural change. While his work offers an invaluable view of mid-twentieth-century African-American experience, it has also come to occupy a significant place in the wider history of American art and speaks to the universal concerns of artists everywhere.Born in North Carolina and coming of age in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance, Bearden was surrounded from an early age by writers, musicians, artists, and intellectuals who presided over an extraordinary period of creative ferment. With keen aesthetic sensitivity, the insight of a philosopher, and the courage of a pioneer, Bearden absorbed images and ideas that he later wove into his colorful, complex, and imaginative art. His work is infused with the sounds, intervals, and rhythms of jazz and the blues; the majesty and mystery of popular religion and obscure ritual; echoes of European old master painting and African art; and the atmosphere of the places he loved.In addition to reproducing examples of Bearden's well-known collages, photostats, and watercolors, The Art of Romare Bearden includes paintings in gouache and oil, murals, book illustrations, costume designs, and his only known sculpture. Much of this art has been culled from private collections and is rarely seen. Fine's definitive essay, based on new research, is accompanied by shorter essays on the artist's European and African sources, his own writings, and contemporary criticism of his art.