Blue Projection

Object Details

Romare Bearden
Photographic print and collage on paper mounted to hardboard
31 9/16 × 24 5/8 × 1 3/4 in. (80.2 × 62.5 × 4.4 cm)
Romare Bearden (1911-1988) worked in a wide array of media, but was best known for collages, like this one created primarily from photographs glued onto a projection, or photographically enlarged print. Against a pastel blue sky, a streetscape emerges from torn black-and-white images. A chimney takes shape from a photo of a brick chimney, for example, and sits atop a house made from a photo of wood paneling. Cloud-like forms and an aloe plant loom large over structures, vegetation, elements of human figures, and typed text. Blue Projection draws on the artist’s understanding of both rural and urban African American experience. Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bearden grew up in Pittsburgh and New York City, where he studied at New York University. From 1963 to 1965, he offered his studio as a meeting place for Spiral, a diverse group of African American artists who gathered weekly to discuss the role of artists in the Civil Rights Movement and the relationship of aesthetics and political expression. A Spiral artist suggested that he magnify his photocollages via photography, which eventually inspired his two “Projections” series, the second of which was mounted at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC in 1965.
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