The Art of Romare Bearden National Gallery of Art
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[Image] The Family, c. 1941Painting and Drawing | Collages, Projections, and Variants
The Evolution of Bearden's Collage Technique | Printmaking

Techniques: Painting And Drawing

Before he entered army service during World War II, Bearden completed approximately twenty large gouaches on brown paper of genre subjects, many of which had religious overtones. They have in common the use of large-scale forms found in the politically charged Mexican mural paintings influential in the United States during the 1930s and early 1940s.

Starting with these early gouaches and continuing in paintings and collages throughout his career, Bearden added linear touches in graphite, ink, and paint to many of his works. He also made many drawings in graphite and ink, including felt-tip pen--primarily quick sketches--but also more carefully finished compositions.

From the late 1940s through the early 1960s, Bearden's primary media were oil paint and watercolor. Balancing concepts of abstraction rooted in cubism with representational form, at the end of the 1940s he created series based on literary themes including Bible stories, ancient Greek literature, and contemporary Spanish poetry. In the 1950s and early 1960s Bearden explored abstract expressionist ideas in paintings that ranged from thinly painted surfaces to heavy impasto. Some included collage elements.

[Image] The Family, c. 1941[Image] The Street (Composition for Richard Wright), c. 1977[image] Now the Dove and the Leopard Wrestle, 1946

1. The Family, c. 1941
2. The Street (Composition for Richard Wright), c. 1977
3. Now the Dove and the Leopard Wrestle, 1946

Introduction Introduction Biography Techniques Subjects Image List Exhibition Information

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