The Art of Romare Bearden

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[image] Profile Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting and Model, 1981

Romare Bearden, Profile Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting and Model, 1981
collage of various papers with fabric, foil, tape, paint, and graphite on fiberboard
Glen and Lynn Tobias
© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.

Both Profile series were exhibited with narratives written in collaboration with Bearden’s friend Albert Murray. This is Bearden's only known self-portrait, and the text accompanying it identified the nude as Licia, who came to Bearden's studio above the Apollo Theater every Friday. A paintbrush in the artist's hand suggests his primary tool during the period portrayed. When the collage was made, however, scissors had supplanted brush in importance to Bearden's work; gray paper across the chair suggests this passage of time. Revealing Bearden's pictorial interests are a reproduction of a painting by Duccio (Sienese, c. 1255-1318) on the wall and an African mask on the drawing in the foreground.

Copyright © National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.