Bearden, Romare

United States, (1911-1988)

  • Romare Bearden - Circe Turns a Companion of Odysseus into a Swine
  • Circe Turns a Companion of Odysseus into a Swine

  • from the Odysseus Suite
  • (1977), mixed media collage of various papers with paint and graphite on fiberboard
  • 32 x 44 in. (81.3 x 111.8 cm.)
  • Private Collection

  • Romare Bearden - The Wart Hog
  • The Wart Hog

  • (1979), gouache and watercolor on paper
  • 20 x 13 in. (5088 x 33 cm.)
  • Private collection

About the Artist

Romare Bearden (1911-1988) is a US painter, collage maker and author who filled his works with the symbols and myths of the American black experience. He often combined African symbols, such as masks and conjur women with stylized realism. His most remembered works are his collages. In his oil painting he treated the paint as if it were watercolor, layering washes of indistinct shape over thickened bars of woven colors.

Bearden was profoundly influenced by the civil rights movement of the 1960s. During this period he used collage to express the rhythms of black music. A collage of cut and torn paper with polymer paint, is typical of the way he mingled abstract shapes and landscapes to evoke his memories of the customs and ceremonies of the black south.

Throughout his career, Bearden promoted opportunities for black artists. He founded the “306 Group” for black artists living in Harlem, served as art director of the Harlem Cultural Council, helped organize the Cinque Gallery and wrote on social and artistic issues. [DES-01/11]

Additional Information:

  1. A Graphic Odyssey: Romare Bearden As Printmaker. Gail Gelburd, editor. Univ. of Pennsylvania Press (1992).
  2. Romare Bearden Foundation

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