Romare Bearden, considered to be one of the most preeminent artist of the 20th century, and renowned for his collages is showcased in a rare exhibit until March 9th in Atlanta. The Traveling Smithsonian Museum Exhibit Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey is at the Michael C. Carlos Museum on the campus of Emory University. The exhibit is a comprehensive show of the collages and watercolors Bearden created in 1977 based on Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey”. It’s the first full-scale presentation of these works for more than 30 years.
Homer, The Odyssey is an ancient story of Greek mythology that begins at the end of the great Trojan War, a ten-year bloody battle that pit two tribes against each other. The story follows Odysseus, a Greek war hero, on his epic journey back home to his son and wife. Bearden reinterprets the story artistically to parallel the African American experience. Bearden has said that “all of us, from the time we begin to think, are on an odyssey.”
I have long admired the work of Romare Bearden, especially his collage works. They are so precise, colorful and detailed it’s hard to believe he hand cut and layered paper to create these works. Touring this exhibit for me was a beautiful opportunity to appreciate the original works of a great master. If you are an art lover as I am do not miss this show while it’s still in Atlanta.
Battle with Cicones
Michael C. Carlos Museum
About Romare Bearden:
Romare Bearden (1911–1988) was born in Charlotte, NC. He moved with his family to Harlem as a young child as part of the Great Migration of African Americans from the oppressive conditions in the South to greater opportunity in the North. Creating images of the lives of African American travelers on their way to and from home, was a common theme utilized throughout his career and it is powerfully explored in his works in A Black Odyssey.