Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections is a significant development in the wider understanding of the sources and inspiration behind much of Harlem man Bearden’s art.
The book focuses on a largely unstudied area of the artist’s work, his recollections and memories of his southern childhood that informed his art. The book draws together a significant and broad ranging collection of his work, produced throughout his career, including selections from his The Prevalence of Ritual series. Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections presents 90 works from the full span of the artist’s career, drawing on the Mint Museum and other public and private collections of Bearden’s work. As well as numerous stylistic influences from African, European and Chinese art, this new volume focuses on how his childhood in North Carolina served as a key source of inspiration for him throughout his life.
Bearden recorded the notions of ritual, and the celebration of a lost way of life, as families like his own dispersed across the urban centres of the north east. Colour plates from the accompanying exhibition are presented throughout four essays by leading Bearden scholars. These include Dr Leslie King Hammond, who focuses on the feminist component in his art, as well as the role of complex iconographic features such as trains and birds, as possible metaphors for God in the machine and the means of deliverance to a new life.
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