Romare Bearden: A New Biography by Mary Schmidt Campbell
Where: Revolution Books
437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave. @132nd St
212-691-3345 Price: Suggested Donation $5-$10
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An evening with Mary Schmidt Campbell and her new biography An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden.
Romare Bearden was a major figure in 20-century art, best known by the time of his death in 1988 for his public murals and collages evoking the Black experience in America. He grew up in the era of the New Negro and the Harlem Renaissance (his studio was above the Apollo theater). In 1987, Bearden was awarded the National Medal of Arts and was described as “the nation’s foremost collagist” by The New York Times.
His billboard-size photographic collages burst on the scene in 1964 after years of creating abstract work. These works, called Projections, draw forth “a history of distortions of black life even as they also re-envision that life… [It was] both celebration and assault, as disturbing as it was joyful.” (American Odyssey)
This evening at Revolution Books will be a chance to dig deep into the life and work of an artist who gave startling expression to the anger and fierce optimism of Black people in the 60s. His work resonates a half-century later… with the emancipation of Black people and all of humanity more urgently needed than ever — and possible.
“Through her long association with Romare Bearden and his work, Mary Schmidt Campbell possesses a rare understanding of his life and artistry… By brilliantly interweaving the political history of African Americans throughout the 20th century with the emergence of one our foremost artists, she has written a book that speaks to anyone who is interested in American history, art, and culture.”
–Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University