Wednesday, August 31, 2011

RECAP: (Re) Discovering Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden, Profile Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting and Model, 1981
collage of various papers with fabric, foil, tape, paint, and graphite on fiberboard
Glen and Lynn Tobias
© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.

As much as I love and admire Romare Bearden's work I'm ashamed to admit that I've never really explored the depths of his artistry. To my friends it appears just the opposite: I own two Bearden monographs, an exhibit catalog, the Wynton Marsalis recording "J Mood" (which the famed jazz musician commissioned Bearden to illustrate) AND -- probably the most difficult Bearden item to obtain -- a copy of his book The Painter's Mind. That's a pretty good collection of source materials yet my knowledge of this great artist is fragmented and superficial. To be honest, I've only just come to a point in my life where I understand the principles by which he created art. Before it just seemed too heady to process. Now -- on the eve of September 2, 2011 the day that marks what would have been Bearden's 100th birthday --  I have the mental muscle and stamina for the intellectual workout required to lift and examine his work. (Which is a relief because I was beginning to think that only a "Moe Howard" smack on the forehead would bring me to my senses.) Celebrations are planned nationwide in honor of Bearden's centennial making it the perfect time for me to achieve greater knowledge and understanding of his art, life and legacy. BlackArtistNews will try to post and/or tweet as much relevant information as possible but for those of you who follow this blog, you know that I like to fish for unique and interesting items that slip through the mainstream. The Bearden blogs posted here will be in alignment with that practice. At some point within the next twelve months take time out to read about Romare Bearden or rent the documentary The Art of Romare Bearden from Netflix or visit one of the many exhibits planned. I surely will. 

Romare Bearden Centennial Tribute

BlackArtistNews extends appreciation to the following individuals for their encouragement, support and trust during the month of August 2011: Sean Qualls, André Douglas, Andre RawSun, Lorrie Davis and Kendrick Daye. 

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