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By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | January 17, 2010
A t the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, when "an overwhelmingly white art world ... tended to regard blacks as a social abstraction" (in the typically sharp words of critic Robert Hughes), Romare Bearden helped open eyes and minds with works of striking communication, beauty and power. The North Carolina-born Bearden strove to create a kind of art, as he put it, "in which the validity of my Negro experience could live and make its own logic." Out of that goal came the collages for which he would gain great fame and that continue to represent some of the finest American - not just African-American - art of the past 50 years.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | January 17, 2010
At the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, when "an overwhelmingly white art world ... tended to regard blacks as a social abstraction" (in the typically sharp words of critic Robert Hughes), Romare Bearden helped open eyes and minds with works of striking communication, beauty and power. The North Carolina-born Bearden strove to create a kind of art, as he put it, "in which the validity of my Negro experience could live and make its own logic." Out of that goal came the collages for which he would gain great fame and that continue to represent some of the finest American - not just African-American - art of the past 50 years.
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NEWS
By Garland L. Thompson | December 6, 1990
IJUST READ a gorgeous book. Fascinating to read, but also gorgeous. ''Romare Bearden: His Life and Art,'' by Myron Scwartzman. The fascinating part has to do with the stories Bearden told Mr. Schwartzman, a Baruch College English professor and jazz pianist, over a six-year period. The gorgeous part is obvious when you stop to look at the pictures -- 250 in all, 120 in glorious, living color.And color is what the work of Romare Bearden is all about.Bearden, great-grandson of slaves, was a son of the South who spent his boyhood watching it re-impose harsh racial mores after the progress at the turn of the century.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | January 17, 2010
A t the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, when "an overwhelmingly white art world ... tended to regard blacks as a social abstraction" (in the typically sharp words of critic Robert Hughes), Romare Bearden helped open eyes and minds with works of striking communication, beauty and power. The North Carolina-born Bearden strove to create a kind of art, as he put it, "in which the validity of my Negro experience could live and make its own logic." Out of that goal came the collages for which he would gain great fame and that continue to represent some of the finest American - not just African-American - art of the past 50 years.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | January 17, 2010
At the height of the 1960s civil rights movement, when "an overwhelmingly white art world ... tended to regard blacks as a social abstraction" (in the typically sharp words of critic Robert Hughes), Romare Bearden helped open eyes and minds with works of striking communication, beauty and power. The North Carolina-born Bearden strove to create a kind of art, as he put it, "in which the validity of my Negro experience could live and make its own logic." Out of that goal came the collages for which he would gain great fame and that continue to represent some of the finest American - not just African-American - art of the past 50 years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,Sun Art Critic | November 18, 2001
It's not often that local galleries present exhibitions of the "Old Masters" of African-American art, so the show of works by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Faith Ringgold and others that opened earlier this month at the Thomas Segal Gallery should be considered one of the season's not-to-be-missed events. I use the term "Old Masters" advisedly, of course: The visual arts of African-Americans really only came into their own in the 1920s and '30s as part of the remarkable literary and artistic flowering known as the Harlem Renaissance.
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | September 13, 2003
Romare Bearden was one of the most original, innovative and important figures in 20th-century American art, so The Art of Romare Bearden, the monumental retrospective exhibition of his work that opens tomorrow at Washington's National Gallery, is an altogether fitting - if, it must be said, overdue - acknowledgement of his achievement. Born in 1911, Bearden is the first African-American artist ever to be the subject of a major show at the National Gallery in the 62 years since it opened its doors to the public.
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | September 13, 2003
As you examine the lines and movements of a Romare Bearden work - Drum Chorus (1986), Slapping Seventh Avenue With the Sole of My Shoes (1981) and others - you can hear the music. You can hear the horns ebb, flow and soar, the drums roll, the voices wail and explode. No other visual artist captured with paint and photographs the essence, the funk, the soul of the African-American experience the way Bearden did. Like the jazz that inspired him, the paintings swing - the rhythms aflame in oils, watercolors and collages.
NEWS
By Veronica Chambers and Veronica Chambers,Los Angeles Times | January 23, 1994
Title: "A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present"Author: Romare Bearden and Harry HendersonPublisher: PantheonLength, price: 608 pages, $65 "A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present" is a landmark work both in the fields of art history and of African-American studies. As the authors, artist Romare Bearden and writer Harry Henderson, note, previous art history texts have at the most covered only one or two African-American artists. To judge from some texts, the authors marvel, "the first African-American has yet to pick up the brush."
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | September 23, 2004
In a blue room with an orange bedstead and a gray wooden floor, a woman disrobes for the evening by the glow of a flickering kerosene lamp. The room is sparsely furnished: a chair and table, a battered dresser and a pot-bellied stove in one corner. On the wall opposite the bed, a rust-colored guitar hangs from a peg. This is the scene depicted in artist Romare Bearden's magical collage The Evening Guitar, one of more than 40 works in a marvelous exhibition titled Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African-American Art, on display at Morgan State University's James E. Lewis Museum of Art. Sports fans may not know that Grant Hill, who for more than a decade has been a star NBA player with the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic, is also a passionate art collector, an avocation not normally associated with professional athletes.
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | September 23, 2004
In a blue room with an orange bedstead and a gray wooden floor, a woman disrobes for the evening by the glow of a flickering kerosene lamp. The room is sparsely furnished: a chair and table, a battered dresser and a pot-bellied stove in one corner. On the wall opposite the bed, a rust-colored guitar hangs from a peg. This is the scene depicted in artist Romare Bearden's magical collage The Evening Guitar, one of more than 40 works in a marvelous exhibition titled Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African-American Art, on display at Morgan State University's James E. Lewis Museum of Art. Sports fans may not know that Grant Hill, who for more than a decade has been a star NBA player with the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic, is also a passionate art collector, an avocation not normally associated with professional athletes.
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | September 20, 2003
It's a little uncanny how much the man who helps Bill Cosby pick art for his collection resembles the famous actor himself. David C. Driskell, the dapper, distinguished university professor of art emeritus at University of Maryland College Park, has the same kindly face with a hint of mischief in the eyes, the same smooth way of talking that lets you know he's very cool; the same dancer's grace when he moves about the room. But when it comes to collecting art for himself, Driskell is in a class by himself.
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | September 13, 2003
Romare Bearden was one of the most original, innovative and important figures in 20th-century American art, so The Art of Romare Bearden, the monumental retrospective exhibition of his work that opens tomorrow at Washington's National Gallery, is an altogether fitting - if, it must be said, overdue - acknowledgement of his achievement. Born in 1911, Bearden is the first African-American artist ever to be the subject of a major show at the National Gallery in the 62 years since it opened its doors to the public.
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | September 13, 2003
As you examine the lines and movements of a Romare Bearden work - Drum Chorus (1986), Slapping Seventh Avenue With the Sole of My Shoes (1981) and others - you can hear the music. You can hear the horns ebb, flow and soar, the drums roll, the voices wail and explode. No other visual artist captured with paint and photographs the essence, the funk, the soul of the African-American experience the way Bearden did. Like the jazz that inspired him, the paintings swing - the rhythms aflame in oils, watercolors and collages.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,Sun Art Critic | November 18, 2001
It's not often that local galleries present exhibitions of the "Old Masters" of African-American art, so the show of works by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Hale Woodruff, Faith Ringgold and others that opened earlier this month at the Thomas Segal Gallery should be considered one of the season's not-to-be-missed events. I use the term "Old Masters" advisedly, of course: The visual arts of African-Americans really only came into their own in the 1920s and '30s as part of the remarkable literary and artistic flowering known as the Harlem Renaissance.
NEWS
By Veronica Chambers and Veronica Chambers,Los Angeles Times | January 23, 1994
Title: "A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present"Author: Romare Bearden and Harry HendersonPublisher: PantheonLength, price: 608 pages, $65 "A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present" is a landmark work both in the fields of art history and of African-American studies. As the authors, artist Romare Bearden and writer Harry Henderson, note, previous art history texts have at the most covered only one or two African-American artists. To judge from some texts, the authors marvel, "the first African-American has yet to pick up the brush."
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Art Critic | December 6, 1992
An encounter with the art of Romare Bearden (who died in 1988 at 75) can be jarring, confusing and even distracting at first, like entering a room to find six people all talking at you at once. There's so much going on, some of it seemingly self-contradictory, that it's hard to sort it out and find out what this work is really about. But as it turns out, it's about a lot of things, among them what it's like to be an American.A tour of the major Bearden retrospective, "Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden 1940-1987," at Washington's National Museum of American Art throws all of him at you, and it's a lot to take in. Consider:The influences range from Dutch genre paintings to abstract expressionism and include cubism, the cutouts of Matisse, the faceting of stained-glass windows, African art, the women of many painters, including Titian, Manet and Matisse, music (especially jazz)
FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | September 20, 2003
It's a little uncanny how much the man who helps Bill Cosby pick art for his collection resembles the famous actor himself. David C. Driskell, the dapper, distinguished university professor of art emeritus at University of Maryland College Park, has the same kindly face with a hint of mischief in the eyes, the same smooth way of talking that lets you know he's very cool; the same dancer's grace when he moves about the room. But when it comes to collecting art for himself, Driskell is in a class by himself.
FEATURES
By John Dorsey and John Dorsey,Art Critic | December 6, 1992
An encounter with the art of Romare Bearden (who died in 1988 at 75) can be jarring, confusing and even distracting at first, like entering a room to find six people all talking at you at once. There's so much going on, some of it seemingly self-contradictory, that it's hard to sort it out and find out what this work is really about. But as it turns out, it's about a lot of things, among them what it's like to be an American.A tour of the major Bearden retrospective, "Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden 1940-1987," at Washington's National Museum of American Art throws all of him at you, and it's a lot to take in. Consider:The influences range from Dutch genre paintings to abstract expressionism and include cubism, the cutouts of Matisse, the faceting of stained-glass windows, African art, the women of many painters, including Titian, Manet and Matisse, music (especially jazz)
NEWS
December 31, 1990
MTA's Romare BeardenEditor: I enjoyed Garland Thompson's Opinion * Commentary page review of "Romare Bearden: His Life and Art." Mr. Bearden was truly one of America's great artists who touched many people.Bearden left his mark on Baltimore in many ways, but perhaps one of the finest, albeit lesser-known, is his magnificent mosaic mural on the mezzanine of the Upton Metro station. Its jazz theme pays tribute to the people and the vibrant music that 50 years ago was a tradition of Pennsylvania Avenue.
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