21 Sep 2017

Romare Bearden: Odysseus Series

Mint Museum Uptown, Levine Center for the Arts

Reviewed by Andy Gambrell

The display of Romare Bearden's Odysseus Series at the Mint Museum Uptown features twenty watercolors and a video interview with the artist. The works are based on a series of collages the artist made while reflecting on the cross-cultural theme of struggling to make one's way home. Bearden, born in Charlotte and a prominent advocate of civil rights, brilliantly appropriated the narrative of Homer's Odyssey. He illustrated key scenes, all recast with black figures. The body of work powerfully asserts the universality of the human condition while inviting reflection upon the adversities facing African-Americans in the Great Migration.

The artist painted the series while looking at reproductions of his collages in an exhibition catalogue. Regretfully, the impulsive directness and raw confidence that are hallmarks of Bearden's expressive collages are nowhere to be found in these tentative works. Nevertheless, the content is both timeless and timely.

Exhibition Romare Bearden: Odysseus Series link
Start date 18 May 2017
End date 12 Nov 2017
Presenter Mint Museum Uptown link
Venue Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tyron Street, Charlotte, NC, USA map
Image Romare Bearden, The Return of Odysseus, circa 1977, lent by the McConnell Family Trust, art © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York, NY, photography courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

Reviews of current exhibitions near this one

Reviews by Andy Gambrell


Share Facebook, Twitter, Google+