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Romare Bearden
American, (Charlotte, NC, 1911 - 1988, New York, NY)

Gospel Song, 1969
American Collage
Mixed media on board
40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

Marion Stratton Gould Fund,  70.18

Not currently on view  

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About the Object

Gallery labet text 2013

Influenced by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Bearden was friendly with the writer Langston Hughes and jazz musicians Duke Ellington and Fats Waller.  He was fascinated by jazz, trying his hand at songwriting for a short time.  Bearden's work bears parallels to the rhythms, intervals, variations, and improvisational devices of music.  He stated, "I paint out of the tradition of the blues."

Bearden was a pioneer of the collage style, explaining "The medium I used was chosen intentionally because assemblage forges a variety of contrary images into one unified expression."

Bearden was a founding member of the 1960s Harlem art group, Spiral, formed "for the purpose of discussing the commitment of the Negro artist in the present struggle for civil liberties."