Art 2 – Romare Bearden Due 11/18


Watch this video on Bearden’s Jazz works and pay special note to the rare clip of him in his studio.

Watch the clip on Bearden from Robert Hughes “Empire of Signs”  (after Rauschenberg, around 2:15 until 6:00)

Comment  thoughtfully on ideas concerning:

a: the development of his art,

b: the uniqueness of his style in the 60’s and 70’s,

c: his manner of linking personal themes from African American culture with art historical precedents or broader humanistic themes, and

d: anything else you may want to add to the discussion about Bearden.


5 responses »

  1. I really like how Bearden uses themes such as the influence of African American culture in his artwork. The way he blends the different parts of the faces he finds in magazines really makes his artwork stand out. One method that I absolutely love is using the impromptu rythme of jazz music to influence his technique and style in his collages. I have never heard of any other artist that uses music to influence there work.

    • There are other artists who do try to capture music in their work by association such as Kandinsky and Whistler. But the beauty of Bearden’s style is how well it mirrors the music that he pays homage to – those syncopated rhythms are described so well by Winton Marsalis.

  2. I like the work he did in the Caribbean. By using paper with certain texture and color and adding a few details, he conveys the landscape really well. I also like how he takes parts of real people to make new ones, if that makes any sense. The odd proportions created by combining different pictures has a cartoonish effect, which is strange because they’re photos.

    • Those juxtapositions of scale from different photos take us out of the everyday world into the imagination but still, they are connected to our world. Like cartoons, they are a kind of language of distortion that we see as an interpretation of our world.

  3. Bearden’s arts always bring people into the content and make people want to explore more information in his art. In his early art, there are not so many deep feeling and information like his late art. His late works are more abstract, which leads reader to think more. He always cut parts from different magazines and express his feeling by stick them together, which forms his uniqueness during that time. Besides, in his art, he always presents a picture of African American’s culture or life. In addition, some of his arts also show the Africa American’s expression towards the civil war.

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