Romare Bearden “Abstract”

DC Moore Gallery

poster for Romare Bearden “Abstract”
[Image: Romare Bearden "River Mist" (1962) Oil on unprimed linen, and oil, casein, and colored pencil on canvas, cut, torn, and mounted on painted board. 54 1/4 x 40 7/8 in.]

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DC Moore Gallery presents Abstract Romare Bearden, featuring rarely-seen stain and collaged paintings from 1958-1962 by one of the most renowned visual artists of the 20th century. Also on view, will be selected works from earlier and later periods. The abstract paintings shed light on Bearden’s continual interest in experimental techniques. They also provide new context to the influence his earlier work had on this period, and how these seminal paintings contributed to the development of his later well-known collages.

After painting and drawing for nearly two decades, the noted African American artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) turned to songwriting for a few years in the early 1950s. When he began painting again in earnest around 1955, his work was more abstract than previously, as he explored new modes of expression. At first, he layered paint thickly, in abstracted figural works that were increasingly less representational than what he had been doing in the 1940s.

By 1957, Bearden had moved to pure abstraction. His dynamic new canvases were larger, all-over paintings of organic, atmospheric forms, merging and coalescing. A critic noted in an exhibition review, “they are full of suggestions of stratified earth, subaqueous suspensions and clear auroras of atmosphere.” As with Heart of Autumn (c. 1960), he created active surfaces and rich tonal effects with paint that flows across the canvas or is worked in several different ways. In others, he began to use collage elements of painted, torn paper or applied canvas. The underlying canvas plays an important role in many of the works, too, as the paint is often thinly applied, resulting in lyrical abstractions of distinctive beauty…



from February 13, 2020 to March 28, 2020

Opening Reception on 2020-02-13 from 18:00 to 20:00


Romare Bearden

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