Romare Bearden (Charlotte, NC 1911–1988 New York, NY), African American writer and artist, is renowned for his collages. He constantly experimented with various techniques to achieve his artistic goals throughout his career. This exhibition highlights works on paper and explores his most frequently used mediums, including screen-printing, lithography, hand-colored etching, collagraph, monotype, relief print, photomontage, and collage.
Bearden’s work reflects his improvisational approach to his practice. He considered his process akin to that of jazz and blues composers. Starting with an open mind, he would let an idea evolve spontaneously.
“Romare Bearden: Ways of Working highlights Bearden’s unique artistic practice and masterful storytelling through art,” says Pamela L. Myers, Executive Director of the Asheville Art Museum. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Jerald Melberg Gallery to present these extraordinary works on paper in conversation with Bearden’s collage Sunset Express, 1984 in the Museum Collection (on view in the Museum’s SECU Collection Hall). This exhibition will also provide a glimpse into the cultural histories and personal interests that influenced his art-making practice, and we hope it encourages introspection and dialogue with our visitors.”
Jerald Melberg states, “Romare Bearden’s groundbreaking artistic practice continues to captivate audiences worldwide. With an unparalleled legacy of creativity and innovation, Bearden’s contributions to art remain deeply influential years beyond his life.” We have enjoyed organizing this exhibition with the Asheville Art Museum to showcase his artistic genius and inspire visitors from the Western North Carolina region and beyond.”
This exhibition is made possible in part by the Judy Appleton Fund. Many thanks to the Jerald Melberg Gallery for the loan of these important artworks and to Mary and Jerald Melberg for their long-standing support of the arts, artists, and the Asheville Art Museum.