Feature Articles

April 2014

Greenhill in Greensboro, NC, Offers Works by Romare Bearden

Greenhill in Greensboro, NC, will present Select Collection | Prints of Romare Bearden, featuring over 40 of Bearden’s works with 87 works available for sale, on view from Apr. 14 through June 22, 2014.

Bearden was a seminal African American artist and is recognized as one of America’s most important twentieth-century artists. He was a prolific artist, with a catalogue of works in the hundreds. The exhibition and art sale at Greenhill will provide the viewer with some of his most important lithographs, serigraphs and etchings, including his highly acclaimed works The Family, Out Chorus, Mecklenburg Autumn and The Train.

Romare Howard Bearden was born on Sept. 2, 1911, in Charlotte, NC, and died in New York City on Mar. 12, 1988, at the age of 76. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art.

Bearden began college at Lincoln University, transferred to Boston University and completed his studies at New York University, graduating with a degree in education. He also attended the Art Students League in New York and later, the Sorbonne in Paris.

From the mid-1930s through 1960s, Bearden was a social worker with the New York City Department of Social Services, working on his art at night and on weekends. His success as an artist was recognized with his first solo exhibition in Harlem in 1940 and his first solo show in Washington, DC, in 1944. Bearden’s works were exhibited during his lifetime throughout the United States and Europe. His collages, watercolors, oils, photomontages and prints are imbued with visual metaphors from his past in Mecklenburg County, NC, Pittsburgh and Harlem and from a variety of historical, literary and musical sources.

Recognized as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Bearden had a prolific and distinguished career. He experimented with many different mediums and artistic styles, but is best known for his richly textured collages. Bearden’s work is included in many important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Mint Museum, Charlotte, The Cameron Museum, Wilmington, NC, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003).

Bearden was the recipient of many awards and honors throughout his lifetime. Honorary doctorates were given by Pratt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Davidson College and Atlanta University, to name but a few. He received the Mayor’s Award of Honor for Art and Culture in New York City in 1984 and the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Ronald Reagan, in 1987.

Greenhill promotes the visual arts of North Carolina by engaging a broad community of artists, adults and children through dynamic exhibitions and educational programs while providing a platform for exploration and investment in art. Since its founding in 1974, the organization has presented and sold artwork of over 9,800 visual artists and engaged nearly one million visitors through free access to The Gallery, The Shop & ArtQuest, the award-winning education program for children & families.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings or visit (www.greenhillnc.org).

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