'The Art of Romare Bearden' at the
Whitney Museum of American Art,
New York.
October 14, 2004-January 9, 2004

The Romare Bearden retrospective that Ruth Fine organized for the National Gallery of Art has now arrived at the Whitney Museum of American Art where it is playing to large, boisterous crowds—not surprisingly, for even in its rare dark moments, Bearden’s is an art of powerful sensuality and considerable emotional uplift.

Although the show has traveled to two other cities since opening in Washington last fall and has still one stop remaining (the High Museum, beginning in January) there is something particularly appropriate about the Whitney as a venue. This isn’t simply because Bearden (who was born in 1911 and died in 1988) spent his entire career in New York, where he made collages depicting contemporary black life in Harlem and the rural south, as well as more...


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