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20th Century American Art

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Gospel Song

1969
40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

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

Object Type: Collage
Medium and Support: Mixed media on board
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1970.18
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

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.”

Marks
Artist's signature, lower right: romare bearden


Provenance
Cordier and Ekstrom (dealers), New York; purchased from them by the Gallery in 1970

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
Romare Bearden Foundation This site offers a wide range of resources and information on the art and life of preeminent African-American artist Romare Bearden. Lesson plans can be found under the Educational Resources section of the website.
The Art of Romare Bearden: A Resource for Teachers This website provides information for teachers about Bearden's life and work, and includes classroom activities.


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