Sarasota Visual Art’s round up of information, upcoming exhibitions, and events. Todd Smith, Romare Bearden, Tampa Museum of Art, Nancy Turner, New College, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Robert Lovejoy, Vadim Bolshakov, Gwendolyn Fryer
Todd Smith on Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections
The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present an exhibition of approximately 70 works of art that span the career of ROMARE BEARDEN. Executive Director of Tampa Museum of Art, Todd Smith, interviews with Sarasota Visual Art about the exhibit.
Featured Artist: Nancy Turner
Nancy is an artist printmaker who derives inspiration for her work from the people closest to her, from the news media, and from other artists. She uses art as a language to convey information about issues that are important to her.
Executive Director of Tampa Museum of Art, Todd Smith, interviews with Sarasota Visual Art about the exhibit of approximately 70 works of art that span the career of Romare Bearden.
The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present an exhibition of approximately 70 works of art that span the career of ROMARE BEARDEN (SOUTHERN RECOLLECTIONS). Executive Director of Tampa Museum of Art, Todd Smith, interviews with Sarasota Visual Art about the exhibit.
sVA: Why did you want to put on this exhibition? What is it about Romare Bearden that makes him so extraordinary to you?
TS: For me, Bearden represents an important coming together of abstraction and representation that was at the core of the 20th century artistic enterprise. His embrace of collage provides probably the most intriguing evidence of how in tune he was with the fragmented nature of his world.
sVA: Regarding Bearden’s work, Bearden plays with scale throughout the work. For instance, he includes an image of a child’s face that is larger than some full-length figures within the same panel. What do you think Bearden was trying to convey with this creative use of scale?
TS: Bearden took artistic license in his collages. He exaggerated certain anatomical features—heads and hands, for instance—as a way of drawing attention to the importance of those features. The enlarged hands, for example, are a motif for an embracing gesture, the idea that these hands can protect.
sVA: This year is 101st birthday of the innovator, scholar, and visionary, Romare Bearden. This exhibition also is opening a few days before Black History Month. What do you think Romare Bearden would want the visitors of this exhibition to walk away with?
TS: While it is difficult to say exactly what Romi would have wanted, I can suggest that he would have hoped that the experiences he captures and the memories he chronicles would be seen as part of a larger collective appreciation of myth and ritual in our everyday world.
sVA: One of your first positions as a curator was with the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., the same city Bearden was born in, and organizer of this exhibition. Do you feel a personal connection with the work of Bearden and if so how?
TS: I am very lucky in that I’ve had an opportunity to get to know Bearden through his works at several of the museums I worked. My first job in the museum field was at the Hickory Museum of Art in the late 1980s. There, the collection included a wonderful collage by Bearden. That work is actually in this exhibition, so it was a nice homecoming for me.
Later, I did work at the Mint Museum and got to know his work much more deeply. I also had a chance to work on securing the Hewitt Collection of African-American Art for the Afro-American Cultural Center in Charlotte and Bearden’s works were key component of that collection.
sVA: This exhibition in its popularity and content reaches out into the Hillsbrough community and all of South Florida. This exhibition has enormous potential. Basing this exhibition around the values and interests of its museum goers, what do you expect the museum to gain from this exhibition?
TS: Our hope is that viewer will understand in greater depth Bearden’s skill at creating compelling narratives of his past and the past that he shares with so many others. We also hope visitors will appreciate how truly modern the artist was.
Sarasota Visual Art’s round up of information, upcoming exhibitions, and events. Romare Bearden, John Cage, John Sims, Aaron Blackall, Alan ReNae Neal, Alicia Tura Stein, New Deal Gallery, Joe Loccisano, SCF Fine Art Gallery, Sarasota Masters Arts Festival
Open letter to the Downtown Merchants Alliance
Miami Beach gets the Basel Art Fair and we get Sarasota Masters Art Festival. Classing a street fair as a “Sarasota Masters Art Festival” and touting unnamed vendors as “the nation’s finest artists” …
Featured Gallery: SCF Fine Art Gallery
Sarasota Visual Art interviews Curator, and Gallery Manager, Joe Loccisano. “My dream exhibition, therefore, would effectively eliminate the perceived barriers between “artist” and “non-artist” and show that art and life are inseparable as they were in ancient culture.”
Things could have been different
January 28 – JohnSimsProjects presents the first event of the Art and Poetry Salon Series featuring the exhibition, Things could hove been different by Aaron Blackall with poetic response by Matt “Matteo” Kelly.
John Cage’s 33-1/3 – Performed by Audience
January 28 – In celebration of his enduring legacy and the 2012 centenary of his birth, the Museum is pleased to present John Cage’s 33-1/3 – Performed by Audience – an interactive installation guest curated by Jade Dellinger.
Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections
January 28 – The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present an exhibition of approximately 70 works of art that span the career of this internationally renowned artist.
January 28 – May 6, 2012
The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present an exhibition of approximately 70 works of art that span the career of this internationally renowned artist.
January 28 – May 6, 2012
The Tampa Museum of Art
The Tampa Museum of Art is pleased to present Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections, an exhibition of approximately 70 works of art that span the career of this internationally renowned artist. Bearden (1911-1988) is widely regarded as one of the most important African-American artists who worked in the United States during the 20th century. He has been the focus of many solo exhibitions, including presentations at the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1987 he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Ronald Reagan.
Works assembled from public and private collections will highlight Bearden’s mastery of collage as well as his development of narrative and thematic explorations of his native South. This exhibition, which will be on view in Charlotte and Newark during its national tour, coincides with the centennial of Bearden’s birth and will examine how the South served as a source of inspiration throughout his career (a theme that has not been previously explored). Through visual recollections of his experiences in the South, Bearden meticulously recorded the ritual forms, or the “collective beliefs,” that imbue his works with archetypal significance. These visual metaphors hold in perfect balance the literal and the symbolic; with them he celebrated and eulogized a lost way of life and the feelings and values associated with the past. Among the large thematic groupings will be selections from The Prevalence of Ritual series, which includes many works referring to Bearden’s childhood home in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Bearden spent many summers during his childhood with his paternal grandmother and great grandparents in Mecklenburg County, and absorbed stories and observations about the rituals of daily life—the relentless toil of cultivating crops, formidable women tending lush gardens and mixing herbal remedies, blue wash day Mondays, Friday night fish fries, Saturday night revival meetings, and church-going Sundays. These experiences, which stood in stark contrast to the urban rhythm of his parents’ New York City household, left an indelible impression on him.
In the early 1940s, Bearden began giving visual form to his boyhood memories. The works in his Southern Series, painted in tempera on brown paper, are characterized by strong colors, flattened perspective and stylized, highly formal compositions. Paintings such as Folk Musicians (1942) and The Visitation (1941) are examples of Bearden’s depictions of agrarian life, as well as his portrayal of emotional bonds common to all humanity, but particularly informed by an African-American experience.
As Bearden developed his collage technique in the mid-1960s, he made use of a wide ranges of art practices, both Western and non-Western. His studies of masters of European, African, and Classical Chinese art enabled him to draw on styles that he felt were timeless and historically durable. The fragmented images Bearden gleaned from magazines and arranged as a whole are as much a part of the content of his compositions as are the events and people depicted. His use of collage, which emphasizes distortions, reversals, telescoping of time, and Surrealistic blending of styles enabled Bearden to convey the dream-like quality of memory and active imagination and was therefore a perfect vehicle for images of his memories of the South.
Bearden returned to the South in the 1970s as his career was beginning to gain momentum. This homecoming in his late mid-life proved bittersweet. The region was undergoing urban renewal, and already traces of Bearden’s past had been erased. Perhaps this nostalgic experience imbued Bearden with a greater sense of urgency to both celebrate and eulogize a lost way of life, a theme that would inform his artwork for the remainder of his days. Bearden developed a complex iconography that spoke to these developments.
Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections was organized by The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC.