The legacy of Romare
Corridor Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of ten contemporary female artists whose artworks pay homage to the influences of Romare Bearden. This groups of artists was brought together by Danny Simmons and includes: Stephanie Anderson, Kimberly Becoat, Sadakisha Saundra Collier, Jeanne Glover, Clemenza Hawkins, Mirlande Jean, Shani jamila, Channel Kenebrew, Alexandria Smith, and Tanekeya Word.
My dad worked as a social worker with Romare Bearden in a welfare center on 14th St in manhattan, they sat desks facing each other and talked issues of social justice all day long. Bearden would rush out at the end of the day on fire with ideas for new work. Perhaps it was sitting at that desk helping those less fortunate than himself that fueled the deep well of humanity that is found in his work. His art reflects an intimate understanding of his times and documents who black people are and their relation to America and the struggle for social justice. His work chronicles the history,music, life styles and the rhythms of an american people. The collages piece together the "souls of black folk ". In this year which is the celebration of the 100 years of his birth we are presenting ten magnificent women artists who use collage to tell similar stories to those told by Romare Bearden.
Each of these women use varying elements of collage making and storytelling to reflect issues of social and personal importance, critiques of popular culture, political commentary, tales of history and struggle, personal insights into society and themselves. These women are in various stages of their artistic careers, some of these artists are new to collage art and some have been creating collages for decades. Many of these women came to collage because of Bearden’s ouevre of work.
Bearden was a true American icon and one of the most important artists of the 20th century. The acceptance of collage in the cannon of american art is a result of Romare Bearden’s extensive body of work. Romare Bearden is a spiritual father influecing artists today. By using collage to create work these artists pay an homage to his powerful legacy. This exhibition invites you into the artists’ world to see where collage has been and where it is going by exploring visions of beautiful jumbles of papers, objects and ideas, and the continuing evolution of an art form.
- Danny Simmons