Romare Bearden

American, 1911–1988

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Romare Bearden

American, 1911–1988

1,976
Followers
Biography

A pioneer of African-American art and celebrated collagist, Romare Bearden seamlessly blended images of African-American life in the urban and rural South with references to popular culture, religion, and Classical art and myth. He depicted jazz musicians, monumental subjects, nudes, or mythological characters set against abstract, fragmented backgrounds. Each of his collages integrated images painted in gouache, watercolors, oil paints, which he would then fix to paper or canvas. Bearden sought to give the African-American experience a universal, monumental, and Classical representation: he would often recast Classical events with African-American subjects, as in The Return of Odysseus (Homage to Pintoricchio and Benin) (1977). By rendering Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus as African-Americans, Bearden drew the political injustices of his time into a universal, allegorical context.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

A pioneer of African-American art and celebrated collagist, Romare Bearden seamlessly blended images of African-American life in the urban and rural South with references to popular culture, religion, and Classical art and myth. He depicted jazz musicians, monumental subjects, nudes, or mythological characters set against abstract, fragmented backgrounds. Each of his collages integrated images painted in gouache, watercolors, oil paints, which he would then fix to paper or canvas. Bearden sought to give the African-American experience a universal, monumental, and Classical representation: he would often recast Classical events with African-American subjects, as in The Return of Odysseus (Homage to Pintoricchio and Benin) (1977). By rendering Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus as African-Americans, Bearden drew the political injustices of his time into a universal, allegorical context.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Shows Featuring Romare Bearden
Articles Featuring Romare Bearden
The Mother-Daughter Duo Who Amassed an Incredible Trove of African American Art
Mar 23rd, 2020
This Dealer Fought for African-American Artists for Decades—Now the Market Is Paying Attention
May 1st, 2019
Rediscovering the Black Muses Erased from Art History
Oct 9th, 2018
The Overlooked Black Women Who Altered the Course of Feminist Art
Apr 28th, 2017
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