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 (in 19 days)|
|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|
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