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At Connie's Inn, from the "Of the Blues" series

Romare Bearden

Contemporary Art

On View:

Music played an important role in Romare Bearden's art. He especially loved jazz, and his method as a visual artist was based in part on what he had learned from jazz musicians about improvisation. As in jazz, the unpredictable repetitions and juxtapositions of shapes, textures, and colors in his art create startling, unexpected visual rhythms. As Bearden once said about being an artist: "You must become a blues singer—only you sing on the canvas. You improvise—you find the rhythm and catch it good, and structure as you go along—then the song is you. Music has always been important for me the way it has been important for many Blacks. Blacks have made their own sound, their own musical language like jazz. It is theirs and they identify with it. In a world of constantly changing identities, certain forms of music represent a solid identity for Blacks."

MEDIUM Collage (with acrylic and lacquer) on masonite panel
DATES 1974
DIMENSIONS 49 7/8 × 39 15/16 in. (126.7 × 101.4 cm) frame: 52 × 42 × 3 in. (132.1 × 106.7 × 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower left (blue): "romare bearden"
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE John B. Woodward Memorial Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Romare Bearden (American, 1911–1988). At Connie's Inn, from the "Of the Blues" series, 1974. Collage (with acrylic and lacquer) on masonite panel, 49 7/8 × 39 15/16 in. (126.7 × 101.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, John B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 75.74. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 75.74_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 75.74_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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