2col Siren's Song press
2col Sirenâs Song press
Romare Bearden, âThe Sirenâs Song,â 1977, collage with paint and graphite on fiberboard, 32 by 44 inches.
Photo e-mâd 10-30
FOR 11/ 16
ROMARE BEARDENâS âODYSSEYâ AT NYCâS DC MOORE GALLERY w/1 cut
avv/gs set 11/1 #717837
NEW YORK CITY â In 1977, Romare Bearden (1911â1988) created 20 collages based on episodes from âThe Odyssey,â Homerâs ancient Greek poem. The exhibition, âRomare Bearden: A Black Odyssey,â on view through January 5 at DC Moore Gallery, is the first full-scale presentation of these works since they were originally shown 30 years ago.
The exhibition also includes additional compositions relating to Beardenâs interest in classical themes and examine his motivations in creating these works within the context of the âOdysseus Seriesâ and his overall oeuvre. The exhibition is accompanied by a 112-page full color, case bound catalog.
âRoman Beardenâs brilliant collages of Homerâs âOdysseyâ may strike even the most avid Bearden lovers as an odd departure from his best-known work: the edgy urban and jazz scenes that Albert Murray has called âthe visual equivalent of the blues,ââ observes Robert G. OâMeally in his catalog essay, âRomare Beardenâs Black Odyssey: A Search for Home.â
âWhy would this great chronicler of black life in America, this Ellington of Twentieth Century painters (who was the maestroâs second cousin), suddenly turn from contemporary Harlem to classical Homer?
âMy best answer is that perhaps Bearden did not wander so far afield, after all,â OâMeally continues, âthat Bearden saw Harlem in Homerâs Odyssey, and Odysseus in Harlem. Behind the faces of Homerâs Greek characters â¦ Bearden detected a blues-like heroism that would enable black Americanâs ongoing search for home. This is the pressing quest which â considering his scores of interiors and exteriors, country and city life, and depictions of family love â is the central theme of all Beardenâs art.â
Bearden the artist found Homerâs subject matter and imagery universal, and he reinterpreted the epic as if Homer had been a Mediterranean African bard in settings almost more North African than Greek, with lush environments inhabited by dark-skinned figures rooted in both classical myth and African American culture.
DC Moore Gallery represents the estate of Romare Bearden and The Romare Bearden Foundation.
On Thursday, November 29, the gallery will present a discussion with OâMeally and Diedra Harris-Kelley, program associate of the Romare Bearden Foundation, from 6 to 7 pm. A reception will follow, 7 to 8. Seating is limited; RSVP by November 20.
DC Moore Gallery is on the eighth floor of 724 Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. For general information, 212-247-2111 or www.dcmooregallery.com.