Press Release The Andy Warhol Museum Celebrates the Artwork of Romare Bearden

A collage of an African American woman in a pink dress against a verdant background.

Romare Bearden, The Woman, 1985

For immediate release

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Romare Bearden

February 1 – February 29, 2012

In celebration of Black History Month, The Andy Warhol Museum has installed a selection of Romare Bearden artworks, which are on view through February 29, 2012. This installation features 10 Bearden screen prints and collages, on loan from Pittsburgh art collectors. This installation also features five Andy Warhol works, including a series of three Ladies and Gentlemen (1975) prints, Two Horns (1958), and Martha Graham: Satyric Festival Song (1986).

Both Warhol and Bearden valued social interaction and creative collaboration with other artists. Bearden collaborated with his wife, noted dancer and choreographer Nanette Bearden, in 1954 designing costumes for ballets. A similar collaboration between choreographer Merce Cunningham and Warhol emerged after Cunningham saw Warhol’s Silver Clouds at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1966. Cunningham invited Warhol to adapt the work for his new dance performance Rain Forest, which premiered in 1968.

Bearden’s collages depict the richness and texture of African-American life with lively colors and compositions. Bearden began experimenting with collage in the early 1960s. Unlike previous masters of the collage form who used images in their original size, Bearden created small collages and then used photography to enlarge them. A decade later Warhol would adopt a similar style in his Ladies and Gentleman series, combining elements of torn paper and stylized line drawings.

The theme of jazz and blues in Bearden’s art gives form to his vivid memories of the flourishing 1930s music scene in Harlem, New York. Bearden believed that his art, like jazz, expressed a sense of freedom and improvisation. Like Bearden, music was also a fundamental part of Warhol’s art and life. Warhol designed three milestone rock-and-roll album covers in the 1960s and ’70s and created more than 50 album covers over the span of his career, which included classical music, opera and jazz.

Eric C. Shiner, director of The Warhol, said “We are thrilled to host this exhibition in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Romare Bearden’s birth. He, like Warhol, helped to change the fabric of America, and for that we should all pay close attention to his amazing body of work.”

From September 2011 through September 2012, the Romare Bearden Foundation celebrates the 100th birthday of Bearden.

The Warhol receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and The Heinz Endowments. Further support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

The Andy Warhol Museum

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Warhol is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.4 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.