Photo: Sasha Mendez

Medium
Image rights
The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum Purchase and a gift from E. Thomas Williams and Auldlyn Higgins Williams, New York 1997.9.4

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.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2020
Abstract Romare BeardenDC Moore Gallery
2019
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983The Broad
2017
Regarding the FigureThe Studio Museum in Harlem
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Homage to Duke, Bessie and Louis, ca. 1980

Collage with graphite on Masonite
15 3/4 × 22 in
40 × 55.9 cm
Location
New York
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Photo: Sasha Mendez

Medium
Image rights
The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum Purchase and a gift from E. Thomas Williams and Auldlyn Higgins Williams, New York 1997.9.4

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.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
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