Tuesday, October 31, 2017
November Masterpiece of the Month: The Dove by Romare Bearden
Who Made It?
An American artist named, Romare Bearden, created this collage in 1964.
Where Is the REAL One?
The real collage can be seen at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, NY.
Why Is This Artwork Important?
Bearden’s special collage technique was groundbreaking because he used cut-up photographs, newspaper clippings and magazines in a manner that seemed to piece together an illustration from a story. He felt that the medium of collage allowed him the freedom to improvise: to create as ideas came into his mind.
In The Dove, Bearden creates a scene which captures the feeling of a vibrant, ever-changing city neighborhood. In fact, Bearden grew up in Harlem, NY and was one of the first artists to depict scenes of African-American life and culture in his artwork. Starting with the cat in the lower left-hand corner, our eyes travel busily from one part of the picture to another, as if we were walking through a busy city street with the activity of daily life passing all around us, always noticing something different. Bearded organized this picture so that our eyes jump from light areas to dark areas, from pattern to pattern. The Dove, a symbol of hope and peace, is perched above everything, as if keeping a close eye on the cats, in case they cause any trouble. This may be an important symbol for Bearden because he created this picture while he was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s.