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Artwork by Romare Bearden

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About the Artist

This painter, collagist, writer and art historian studied at New York University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1935. At the Art Students League he worked with George Grosz in 1936-1937. He attended Columbia University in 1943. Between 1950 and 1954 Bearden studied at Paris at the Sorbonne. While in Paris he met Brancusi and Georges Braque, influencing his work toward abstraction. In Bearden’s own words, his primary concern in his art is to "establish a world through art in which the validity of my Negro experience would live and make its own logic". He did cubistic figurative work, abstractionist work and the collages for which he is best known. These works consist of fragments from photographs, magazines, newsprints and other pre-existing materials. All of his art is a visual affirmation of African American life and culture in U.S. society. He incorporated jazz, baptisms, parades, funerals and all aspects of black American life. The collages express life from rural North Carolina to black neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and Harlem. His first major retrospective on the West Coast opened in December 1991 at UCLA’s Wight Art Gallery. This highly celebrated artist has been investigated most recently in a book published in 2003 titled The Art of Romare Bearden by Ruth E. Fine. Myron Schwartzman penned Romare Bearden, His Life and Art in 1990.