Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden in Harlem, NY

According to ArtCyclopedia, Romare Bearden was an African-American Harlem Renaissance Painter who lived from 1914-1988. The man was quite gifted, as a writer, as a sports figure, and also as a painter. Later in his life, during the 60's he turned to collage as a medium for expression.
I look at collage with extra scrutiny these days, especially since the whole copyright issue last week. I don't see anything specific in this collage of Romare Beardens that I can pinpoint as a food label, a magazine page, or what have you. But when you look at this work, it is obvious that the snips were from printed matter. I like it that you can't get specific as far as the origin of his snips. That's a gift, to be able to hide the disparate sources used in a work, and have the viewer see YOUR picture, not the composite elements. I am impressed by it, altho I often choose to do the opposite, and leave enough of each snip for it to be identified...
There's a really cool site here, which offers all of his papers and correspondence. Fascinating stuff. Helps you understand how his mind worked, what was intriguing to him, where his head was... They also have a micro-site like this for Joseph Cornell...hot stuff worth looking into further.

Mecklenburg Autumn
collage & mixed media on masonite
18 x 14 inches
Sheldon Ross Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
Truth in Beauty/Beauty in Truth: Contemporary American Realism from the Seavest Collection, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida, Nov. 11, 1999 - Jan. 2, 2000,


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