Take a deep breath before diving into the color-drenched palette of multimedia artist Romare Bearden. In his 1988 obituary, the New York Times referred to the 75-year-old artist as the nation's "foremost collagist." This month, we're going gaga over ACA Galleries' exhibition of Bearden's later works, entitled "Urban Rhythms And Dreams Of Paradise," on view in New York until February 23.
Balancing the Southern aesthetic from his hometown of North Carolina with the momentum of the Harlem Renaissance, Bearden worked in a constantly fluctuating language all his own. His passionate collages took cues from Pablo Picasso's cubism, Diego Rivera's Mexican murals, Johannes Vermeer's Dutch classicism and the visceral memories of his own life. Somewhere between a jazz medley and a jigsaw puzzle, the artist's complex works tell a personal tale on an epic scale; never before has abstraction seemed so personal.
See the impassioned works in the slideshow below and let us know if you are inspired to pick up some scissors in the comments section.